Strange for me to put a serious one like this on a Sunday, but I really needed to get this off my chest. All year, there has been a strange habit of people messaging, calling, or flat out invading my space while I write. Not just when I’m writing, but they always seem to get me at delicate plot points. It can really derail me. This happens with biking and when I try to watch TV too. So frustrating!
The thing is that the people contacting me have no idea what I’m doing. So, I can’t get angry and think they’re doing this on purpose. They simply have free time to talk while I’m doing something. It’s the price of socializing, but the timing can always run me up the wall. I’m still mastering putting off responding, especially if it’s only one message or a request to watch a video. Things get rough when I get bombarded from all sides.
For example: There was one day in August where I was trying to write the final battle of Slumberlord Chronicles: Darwin & the Fate Bracelet. I had been chatting with one friend, who understands delayed responses and never seems to hit me with anything that derails my creativity. All of a sudden, I got a series of messages from another person about my books. Not too hard to handle. Then, a friend began telling me about their day from another app. Another started asking odd questions out of boredom. Finally, another person responded to a previous text and it started an argument. All of this hit me at once while I was trying to have two characters fight. Individually or with only two, I could handle it. Like this, I began sending quick messages that may have been a little more frustrated than I intended.
Still, you get cornered with the way these events happen. We no longer have true privacy any more because our phones create instant contact. Many people are used to immediate responses, so delaying results in more messages and maybe a phone call. Not everyone is texting on the toilet where they’re a captive audience. It’s amazing how we can be so alone and so crowded at the same time because of this technology.
Now, I know somebody is going to say ‘turn your phone off’. A good idea, but not as practical as you think. There are people I need to interact with for a variety of reasons and I can’t miss their messages. Some are friends who are going through rough patches and occasionally need someone to talk to. They’re there for me and I’m there for them. Others are people who may contact me about things regarding my son, which are messages I cannot ignore. The benefits of being easily accessible are great, but they also become the disadvantages. I can always mention I’m writing and they’ll understand that I need a few minutes to respond, but I still need to let these people know that I heard them and they’re not being ignored. Phone off means I’m not aware of the situation. To be fair, I have done that before and returned to a mess of messages with a few being very important and time sensitive. So, don’t think I never tried.
Do these interruptions wreck me entirely? Most times they don’t. There are the occasional interruptions that are highly negative and require that I take a mental health break. It’s usually just frustration and threats to the flow. I can usually get that back within minutes, but it can be exhausting if it keeps happening. Honestly, I think it does more damage to my biking than my writing. Hard to stay zoned out when my music keeps getting interrupting by the text dinging.
So, what interruptions drive you up the wall? How do you handle them?