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Sorry for the interruption

I was looking forward to this morning.

After dropping M off to school (no tears, yay), I put the laundry on, then dropped Mr. R to a friend’s house where he was going to spend the morning connected to the strangely superior internet connection listening to the Berlin Phil on his Sennheiser headphones. On the way back home I was almost gleeful, wishing the car to go faster, the traffic to clear magically like the Red Sea. I was going to have an hour and half all to myself. It was going to be ninety minutes of no interruptions.

You do know what’s coming, don’t you?

Yup. The maid said we were out of fish and we need fish for lunch (this is Goa, remember?), so off I went to the stinky, wet fish market and came back with a bag full of mackerels, some prawns, some sardines and a hundred rupees worth of Red Snapper (Rane) gleaming pink against the other silver-grey fish.

On the way back, I looked longingly at my watch. The morning could yet be salvaged, I thought resentfully. I could still have forty-five minutes of my own.

Then, what do you know? At home, the fire still raged. I was informed that the washing machine refuses to drain and the clothes are just languishing in a wet limbo, suds hovering at the machine door looking for a way out. What does one do? Writing books would tell you to forget about domestic chores and lock yourself in a room or closet and just get on with your work. Real life doesn’t always work that way (not in this house, for sure).

So I checked the manual, drained the water and the maid (thank goodness she’s around) offered to wring them dry.

By then, the clock had magically moved to half-past eleven. I couldn’t work now! I was so irritated with how my time had been stolen from me that I couldn’t bear to look at my computer. The screen, the possibilities, the cursor blinking away, waiting for me made me even madder.

And in the middle of all this, I glimpse a phrase that stopped me in my resentful tracks.image


“I am never without interruption.”

Of course.

My writing time, that which I crave so desperately, must be made within these interruptions (otherwise known as ‘life’). There’s no other way around it.

How do you work around interruptions?

Image from A Year of Writing Dangerously by Barbara Abercrombie (who also writes the wonderfully helpful blog Writing Time)


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