Sunday, May 18, 2008

Why is Writing So Hard

So Saturday I spent four hours at the public libarry working on my book proposal for She Speaks.

Four hours.

I concentrated very hard most of the time, except when I was craving chocolate or when those little kids were confused and thought they were at recess, or when I was distracted by the men who were wandering through the books discussing every topic under the sun, mainly politics and history with an intermittent snippet of entertainment thrown in. "Oh, why don't they stop talking?" I asked myself. "Or maybe audition for Jeopardy, because they sure know a lot."

Then I realized that I was being distracted by a man, as in "singular." I thought I was listening to two men when in fact one man was having a conversation with himself. He chose to sit at the table next to me. I tried to concentrate on writing and ignore him, but I noticed he kept pulling very thick books from the shelves to pseudo-read; that is, he would turn the pages while looking around and chatting. Then he would stack that open book on top of the other open book and get another after consulting himself.

Just slightly distracting. But also kind of endearing. And I'm going to say it: funny. But I did not laugh, so you don't have to click away from here right now to get away from the mean lady.

It's just ironic that I went there to get away from distractions like teenagers and yappy dogs and lawn mowers and telephones and my fatal attraction, blogging.

So I ended up putting the earphones in just to block out noise because I don't listen to music if I am writing. I just want quiet. If I'm doing busy-work, I might listen to music, but not if I'm creating something. Wow, that sounds high-falutin': "If I'm creating something." (Like when I create my scientific analyses of which junk food goes best with American Idol.)

Anyway, after a while, Jorge joined me there, working across the table from me, just like we did in college. That's right. While you were out going to your parties in college, we were simultaneously smokin' the keyboards off of our graduation-present Brother electric typewriters, vibrating my mom's kitchen table's screws loose, which is probably a good metaphor for what we were doing to my parents' sanity, since they had to put up with that awful rat-a-tat machine-gun racket. Incredibly, they never once said, "Can ya give that a REST?!"

Anyway, I was trying to concentrate in spite of all that distraction when a very, very elderly lady passed my husband and me and virtually exploded a natural gas emission that was quite loud and quite protracted. To the point of breaching the noise blocking capability of the earphones. To the point of unbelievability.

Game over.

I dared not look at Jorge until she shuffled away, and then ...

I lost it.

So you may have to write me off after all.

People, if you want to work without being distracted, DON'T go to the public library. You'd be better off going to an auction or a riot or field day at your kid's school. But wherever you go, don't count on the library for quietness--they just don't shush 'em like they used to.

24 comments:

Cyndy said...

And I thought the food court at the mall was interesting! I was obviously in the wrong place.
ROFL!!!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I have nothing to add to your story. And, really, after the little old lady, why even try?

But I believe Lisa The Preacher's Wife would be able to share a tale or two with you about the un-quietness of the public library system. 'Tis not a place to go for peace and concentration.

Jenny said...

Our Library is the SAME way! My kids are the ONLY ones getting shushed :) And then I think "Why do I bother?" HAHA.

Although, I don't create like you do, so it's never been a problem for me. :)

Melanie said...

I would have laughed, too. At that point, how could you not?

You have given me one more reason not to like the library.

R.L.Scovens said...

It's good that you laughed instead of getting frustrated!LOL

HisPrincess said...

Sometimes you just can't hold it in! ;)

Beverly Lewis said...

Happy Monday. At least you got a good blog post out of your trip to the library. Blogging- the simple path to publishing! Thanks for the laugh with my 2nd cup of coffee.

Mocha with Linda said...

Well Kelly Love Well beat me to it, but you and Lisa the PW have much in common in your experience at libraries.

The library we go to is wonderful. It's two stories. The kids' section is downstairs and noise is allowed. Upstairs is the adults area and it is QUIET.

Jen said...

I am HOWLING with laughter!

Susanne said...

ROFL! I'll take note of that the next time I try to write a "high falutin'" article. Too funny.

I loved them old electric typewriters. It wouldn't bothered me at all to have you and Jorge rat-a-tatting away at my kitchen table.

Teri said...

I would have laughed. For sure.

SweetPea said...

That's amazing and so ironic to think that the library was worse than your own home with kids and dogs. Ear plugs at a library...go figure!!!

How sweet and endearing that you and your husband were at the library working together.

So, tell us...was the man putting on a "show" or do you think he seriously had some mental problems...NOT being mean but curious.

Good post...at like Beverly said it gave you a good post for your blog addiction!
Paula

Kelley said...

This is exactly why I am so unproductive. The difference between you and I is that you are attempting to accomplish something and I have surrendered to the powers that be (teens and yapping dogs). I can't wait to hear more about this proposal, I have so much to glean from you my friend....

SJ said...

Ever since college, the library has been the LAST place I'd go for peace and quiet. College kids dont do "quiet" in libraries either...at least not at my college.

The old lady! Oh. My. Goodness! That is just toooo funny. Well, at least you got some blog fodder (farter?) out of it!

SJ said...

Ever since college, the library has been the LAST place I'd go for peace and quiet. College kids dont do "quiet" in libraries either...at least not at my college.

The old lady! Oh. My. Goodness! That is just toooo funny. Well, at least you got some blog fodder (farter?) out of it!

SJ said...

Ever since college, the library has been the LAST place I'd go for peace and quiet. College kids dont do "quiet" in libraries either...at least not at my college.

The old lady! Oh. My. Goodness! That is just toooo funny. Well, at least you got some blog fodder (farter?) out of it!

SJ said...

Ever since college, the library has been the LAST place I'd go for peace and quiet. College kids dont do "quiet" in libraries either...at least not at my college.

The old lady! Oh. My. Goodness! That is just toooo funny. Well, at least you got some blog fodder (farter?) out of it!

Debbie said...

Too funny! I hate to say I'd probably have busted out laughing before she shuffled away - and you know Rocky would have!

Ann said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Oh, thank you Linda!!!

Susan said...

My best "writing spot" is to get a hotel room somewhere and just be totally alone. I get so much done when I am there. I have also learned that when I am distracted, there is often an important idea marinating in my head that will come out eventually on the paper.

Another thing that I've learned about my writing is that I need to write something when I set forth to do so...even if it seems like a bunch of gobbledy gook (is that a word?). If I start to write, I often find great nuggets in the mess that often ends up on my paper.

Still, this made for ONE funny writing story!!

:-) Susan

Michelle said...

Oh Lord! Gas Emissions...

Ok, nothing tops that. Poor you....I would have gotten thrown out.

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

Reading YOU distracts me from things I should be doing. :)

Tell me about the book proposal!!!

Darlene R. said...

I am so laughing right now! I'm a little behind on my blog reading.

I'm too much of a people-watcher to get anything done at the library.

annie's eyes said...

Just wondering where you're headed this Saturday for a quiet place--maybe the zoo by the monkeys?