Clarissa Johal: Artistic Solitude...or, Go Away, I'm Writing.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Artistic Solitude...or, Go Away, I'm Writing.

Oh, happy day! I’ve finished my next supernatural horror novel, STRUCK. One more go-through, and it’s ready to send off the publisher. 

I’ve been writing in fits and starts and grabbing writing time when I can. I love my family and wouldn’t trade them for the world, but, oh my gosh, we’ve been on a busy schedule this past year. It’s a schedule I sometimes find extremely frustrating as an author. Especially when I require a HUGE block of time to read my manuscript from beginning to end—the only way to assure myself of a smooth, cohesive, storyline.
I’ve hinted to my husband, who puts up with much, that it might be nice if I was able to book a hotel room for one night. It would allow me this final time I need, and with absolutely no distractions. No dogs to play door-slave to, no cats asking to be fed/pet/cleaned-up after, no dishes that need doing, no floors rolling with fur balls, no kiddos to be picked up from school and driven here to there, no math homework to help with (ugh), and no breakfast, lunch and dinners to make. I love these things in my life, but when it comes to writing?
Absolute solitude with no distractions would be ideal.

His answer to my hotel request was, as expected, a reminder that hotels can be expensive, save for the sleezy ones, and an offer to look after the kiddos while I went upstairs to sequester myself in our bedroom. 
Sigh. I love him for that, but… Another writer may understand why this doesn’t work. In the midst of wrestling with my protagonist’s decent into madness, my antagonist’s evil complexities, or my layers of Otherworld, there will be a point where my family will pop in to say hello, need to use our bathroom for some bizarre reason (we have three), ask me if I want food (go away, not now), or during a coffee run (more crucial than food, folks), ask me that dreaded question, “How’s the writing going?” 

Forgive me if I snarl and bite, or perhaps stare at you like you’ve spoken some foreign language that I can’t possibly understand, but, “Go away, I’m writing.”  I would be civil and answer you but I’ve pushed all my words and emotions through my fingertips and have none left to push through my lips.

So, I’m left with the possibility of grabbing an all-nighter while my husband is on a business trip, begging one of my pet-sitting clients to do a trade; free pet-sitting if I can spend the night at their house (which may or may not work), or shelling out $40 for a night of solitude at some sleezy motel. 

I’m thinking the sleezy motel may work just fine.


Anonymous said...

Solitude is something you don't get when you have a family. Admit it: if you did get away for a day you'd be worrying about them, or you'd remember something one of them has to take to school, or that nobody has emptied the washing machine...

Vonnie said...

Oh yes I can relate to that, and I don't even have the excuse of children at home any more. The pets' demands (and we are in a gated community with strict rules so it's neverending keeping an eye on the cat and dog), the endless queries and the phone calls. So what happens? Often when I do get some peace to write, I waste it by sitting here smugly thinking, "This is great. Listen to the silence! Now, where was I? Ummm..."

Anonymous said...

I can totally relate. I would love nothing more than to sequester myself in a room somewhere that is not my home and just write. It's so hard to get the silence and space I need to focus on getting the words down.

Clarissa Johal, Author said...

Oh, sputter, sputter, Jane! Of course I would, but it would only be overnight...and on a weekend, lol. No school stuff to fret over. :) Vonnie and Brianna--that silence is wonderful, isn't it? I hope you're able to find your writing time these coming weeks!

Rhea Rhodan said...

There are days when I hate everything I love--except writing--because they interrupt the writing. Some days are definitely worse than others, and some writing activities bear interruptions less well than others.

Wishing you some peace!

Clarissa Johal, Author said...

Very true about some writing activities not needing as much concentration. The "final" read definitely does. Thanks, Rhea!

Heather R. Holden said...

It's definitely hard to work on anything when there are so many distractions about--even thinking can be difficult, if the distractions are bad enough. Glad to hear you were finally able to complete Struck despite that!

Clarissa Johal, Author said...

Distractions, distractions, yes. Thanks for stopping by, Heather!