Opinions on the perfect writing environment vary but one subject of great debate is the impact of an interruption. For some, all if it takes is the faint sound a lawnmower from across the suburb and their focus is thrown for the rest of the day, while others could quite happily write a novel at a rock concert if the need arose. But if we are to go by the rules set down at most Writers’ Residencies, where interruptions of any kind are banned for most of the day, then it must have a notable impact on most writers.
Personally, I do most of my writing in the break room of my work over lunch time so I’ve got no choice but to expect distractions. Unfortunately for me, lunch breaks at my work are not considered as sacred as they should be and so it is quite common for someone to ask me a very detailed question while my mind is still in my manuscript. Working in this way certainly slows me down, there’s no doubt about it. Once I’ve spent five minutes talking to a colleague about spreadsheets, it takes another five of re-reading before my train of thought returns. But at the same time, it could be a good thing that I have been working in such an environment as it means I’m not as sensitive to these distractions as others might be. There certainly are situations that throw me completely off my work but these are mostly isolated to the home environment; the sound of my boyfriend watching the Simpsons downstairs, the smell of dinner, or the feeling of my dog trying to lick my toes. I rarely work at home so these things faze me easily. But interruptions aren’t a big deal.
How about you? Do you lose your temper at interruptions or is your flow unbreakable?
P.S. This post was scheduled in advance as I am currently sunning myself on a much-needed holiday! Please excuse any delay in responding to comments. I will read them when I find a free wifi zone, honest!