Sunday, March 20, 2011

If you look I'll have to kill you

I have a problem. Don't worry, it's not a scary have-to-go-to-the-doctor-and-get-that-looked-at problem. More of an annoyance, a slight irritating itch that I can't quite reach. The problem flares its ugly head often, tickling me with slimy fingers that leaves a trace.

I struggle to write when people are around me. I'm not talking about taking my laptop into a coffee shop full of people. I'm talking just my boyfriend in the room or my sister moving around her house as I get a break from my nephew to sneak a few words in. Another presence in the room with me and my ability to write runs for the hills. The feeling of someone leaning over my shoulder, watching every letter appear makes me nervous. My stomach turns and I start squirming like a spotlight is shining over me and a panel of judges are ready to give their verdict.

It's all in my head, I know. My boyfriend isn't paying any attention to what I'm working on and no one is hovering behind me, watching me but I've always been like this. Back when I was all about drawing I never let anyone get a glimpse at my drawing until it was done. It wasn't finished and not ready to be judged. Same goes for my writing. It's not done, don't look! I promise, I'll let you see the chapter when it's done or read the story once I've edited it to my liking. Until then, step back, leave the room and let me write!


  1. That's interesting, Patricia.

    I don't seem to have this problem, as I know (my girlfriend, for example) has no interest in my work. She'll read it when I'm done, for sure, but I guess I can separate my anxiety of people reading my work before it's ready and people being in the room.

    I guess we just all have our special go-to environments that work. Some like coffee shops, others complete solitude. I like the park, but I also do fairly well with my laptop on the bed, girlfriend studying at my side, music softly wafting through the air. Comfort is the most important variable, I guess, wherever it is you can clear your mind and focus on the task at hand!

  2. Not too unusual of a problem, I think. I hate when someone reads over my shoulder when I'm writing. I can deal with someone merely being in the room, but I prefer if they weren't. If someone interrupts me, I tend to snap like an alligator with razor blades for teeth. Of course this ends up making things worse, because I feel bad, and the person snapped at gets mad, and then we go around about that, and all the while I get more sidetracked than I would have if I had just responded with a gentle, "I'm busy right now."

    Sometimes I think that people who don't write can't really appreciate the level of concentration required. If it's something abstract, then you have to keep the ideas straight in your head and think of how to put them in simple words. If it's fiction, you have to focus and get inside your imagination to the point of nearly blocking out the real world entirely. So much can depend on the precise sound a certain kind of shoe makes on a certain flooring, or seeing in your head the exact gesture a character makes when they're being deceptive.

  3. What drives me insane is the phone and IM chats. Constantly, bling "Hey Phinneas...whatcha dooooooin?" IM isn't so bad as the phone because you can flop back and forth quickly enough...but the phone you actually have to stop for a longer period of time, then go back, try to catch up to what you thinking the scene in you're head, start typing, then...BLING "Hey Phinneas...whatcha dooooooin?" Gets me every time!

  4. I have the same problem. And the picture cracks me up! So perfect!

    New follower here *waves and grins*


  5. I hate when people come over when I'm writing in a badly veiled attempt to see what I'm working on... it completely breaks my train of thought... But I can see how people would be curious...

  6. Hi Karen! Hope I don't disappoint.

    DR now I am evilly plotting....