I can see how it is that a writer’s life is one that, at times, has to be shut off from the outside world.
It’s a bit hard to keep a stream of thoughts going when in one ear is some banal detective show, and in the other, a conversation that you have to keep up with. I know how hard it is because I’ve tried doing three things at once, and failed miserably in all three.
So, out I slink to the writing room and start by re-reading the previous chapters, to get back into the plot. I should remember where I am, and get straight to it, but the devil is in the detail.
Going back, quite often I revise, and a plotline is tweaked, and a whole new window is opened. God, I wish I didn’t do that!
Then I get to the blank page, ready to go, and…
The phone rings.
Damn. Damn. Damn.
Phone answered, back to the blank page, no, it’s gone, got yo go back, blast, another revision, and back to the blank page.
Half an hour shot to pieces.
The phone rings again.
Blast scam callers. I nearly rip the cord out of the wall.
All through this the cat just watches, and, is that a knowing smile?
It can’t be, I’ve just learned that cats can’t smile, or make any sort of face.
I’m sure his thoughts are not a vague or scrambled, or wrestling with the ploys of several stories on the go, getting locations right, getting characters to think and do their thing with a fair degree of continuity.
The cat’s world is one of which chair to lie on, where is that elusive mouse be it real or otherwise, and is this fool going to feed me, and please, please, don’t let it be the lasagna. I am not that cat!
Unlike other professions, it’s a steady, sometimes frustrating, slog where you can’t just walk away, have a great time, and come back and pick up where you left off. Stories have to be written from beginning to end, not a bit here and a bit there.
It’s a bit like running a marathon. You are in a zone, the first few miles are the hardest, the middle is just getting the rhythm and breathing under control, and then you hope you get to the end because it can seem that you’ve been going forever and the end is never in sight.
But, when you reach the end, oh, isn’t the feeling one of pure joy and relief.
Sorry, not there yet.
And no comment is required from the cat gallery, thankyou!