My New Year’s resolution for 2012 is to finish writing the book I started writing back in 2000. I’m beginning to realize, however, it’s not going to be easy.
I have an office, but for some reason, when I’m in there with the door closed and everything is quiet, I just stare at the computer. It seems as if the only time I feel creative is when I’m sprawled out on the sofa with the TV playing in the background.
Still, even when I’m feeling inspired to write, there are three big obstacles preventing me from churning out my desired number of pages per day...my husband and my two dogs.
The other night, for example, I was eager to work on my book. I grabbed my laptop and a cup of tea, then sat on the sofa and began to type. My husband and both dogs were napping, so there were no interruptions. The words just seemed to effortlessly flow from my brain to my fingertips.
Suddenly, everything changed.
“Whatcha doing?” my husband’s voice broke my concentration. He was up from his nap and standing in the living room.
“Writing on my book,” I said.
“Oh, then I’ll be real quiet. You won’t even know I’m here!”
He grabbed the remote control and sat in his recliner. For what seemed like the next hour, I was treated to a sampling of every TV show on all 500 stations, from the Disney Channel to the History Channel, as he flipped through them.
“Wow! Look at that!” he suddenly shouted.
I glanced up to see a car auction on TV where some old car from the 1940s was being auctioned off for $45,000. I glared at my husband.
“Oops!” he said, smiling sheepishly and shrugging. “Sorry about that! I’ll be quiet, I promise. Go back to writing your book.”
I tried, but my train of thought had been interrupted. It took a few minutes before I was able to get back into the swing of things. One particular sentence I wrote struck me funny. Unconsciously, I laughed out loud.
“What’s so funny?” my husband asked.
“Oh, just something I wrote.”
“Read it to me,” he said. “I like to laugh, too, you know!”
“I’d have to read the whole page to you before the sentence I just wrote would make any sense.”
“That’s OK. Just read me the sentence. I’ll get it.”
So I read it to him, pausing a few times to chuckle as I did. When I finished, I looked up at him for his reaction. His expression was blank.
“I don’t get it,” he said.
I rolled my eyes. “Go back to your car auction.”
I started writing again and something nudged the top of my computer. I looked up to see Willow, one of my rottweilers, peering over the edge.
“I think she wants to go out,” my husband said. “She has that full-bladder look on her face.”
I groaned. For some reason, my dogs won’t go out to the yard to do their duties unless I’m the one who opens the door for them. In the past, I had seen my husband whistle, call their names and stand there holding the door open until he nearly developed frostbite. He’d done everything short of covering himself in rawhide treats, yet the dogs wouldn’t budge.
I, on the other hand, just had to touch the doorknob and they’d come flying at me like jets on a runway.
I set down my computer on the sofa cushion, went to the door and opened it. Willow dashed outside. “Raven!” I called to our other dog. “Want to go out?”
She looked up at me, yawned, and put her head back down on the rug.
I returned to my computer and managed to write about two sentences when I felt something cold and wet touching my hand. It was Raven’s nose.
“I think she’s ready to go out now,” my husband said.
“I just asked her a minute ago! Why didn’t she go out then?”
“Well, maybe she suddenly developed cramps.”
I was ready to send him out into the cold along with the dogs.
So once again I went to the door. When I opened it to let Raven out, Willow came running back in. Raven then decided to stay inside. The dogs proceeded to drag out their favorite ratty old dog blanket and play tug-of-war with it. Their game was accompanied by growling in an assortment of octaves and volumes.
That did it. I turned off the computer.
“Quitting already?” my husband asked.
“For now,” I said. “I can’t seem to concentrate today.”
“Well, I once read that you have to treat writing a book like a job. You have to devote so many hours a day to writing on it and then stick to that schedule or you won’t succeed. Discipline is the key.”
He could be right. In fact, I think my second New Year’s resolution will be to devote five hours every day to writing on my book...in a hotel room somewhere in Florida.