Interesting Interruptions

is for Interruptions.

Interruptions are annoying, whether you be a parent, teacher, employee, student, writer, or avid TV watcher. As a writer, there have been times I’ve been ‘in the groove’, so to say. A story is playing out in my head and I’m madly typing as fast as I can to capture the essence of this gripping plot…and then I am interrupted.

BLAM!

All my thoughts go out the window. One of my kids calls for a ride home from school (it’s raining and they’re afraid they’ll be like the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz and melt if they get wet). Or someone asks me a question, or tells me dinner is burning, or my dog’s tail is on fire.

I LOVE this cover!

Whatever the interruption, whether small or big, it knocks you off course. And then we gripe about being interrupted and think how much we would have accomplished if it never rained and kids could walk home, and if questions didn’t need to be asked, or burnt lasagna tasted good, or that dogs wouldn’t wag their tails so close to the fire.

I think it’s safe to say EVERYONE has INTERRUPTIONS in their life. EVERY DAY.

When I ran across this C. S. Lewis quote (yes, I have a file of quotes by that man!), it helped me see interruptions in a new light…a more positive one. Hope you enjoy it like I did:

“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life.  The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life—the life God is sending one day by day.”

I guess the trick is to enjoy Interruptions, instead of getting mad about them. Then they become Interesting.

Char Signature

36 thoughts on “Interesting Interruptions

  1. I would have to say that probably the worst person for interrupting me is me. I interrupt my own flow of thoughts with other unrelated thoughts. Or I leave my phone near me so that I see the little red flashing light telling me that a new email or something has arrived, and therefore I need to go and look at it, whereas really I know it is extremely unlikely to be anything important, so it is my own choice to interrupt myself to go and check it. Or I suddenly remember something I wanted to look up and so stop what I’m doing to do that instead. So while real outside life plays its part in interrupting me, it is no worse than my own interruptions of myself!

    • So true. I do the same at times. For me though, I usually click off my WIP when my brain is fried and interrupt on purpose to relax again. I don’t mind when I interrupt myself…I just don’t appreciate interruptions outside my control at time. I’ll try to get better at that.

  2. Thanks for the perspective. Impatience would be my “I” word. This quote from C.S. helps with that, too.

    • Nicely said. Yes, if we scrutinized our lives, we probably all could find times when interruptions saved us literally or figuratively.

  3. What a great choice for the “I” entry. Interruptions definitely try my patience, so I like your positive spin on them. But I still won’t take my sign off my study door–it’s a hanging sign with a witch on it that says, “The Wicked Witch is working. Enter if you dare.” I’m so mean…

  4. That’s a great way to look at it and a good thing for writers to remember. Sometimes we get too caught up in our story worlds and forget to get out there and experience the real world. I’ll try to remember that those interruptions can be a good thing or at least interesting. 🙂

    • Yes, it was an interruption in the form of a traveling artist selling her work that gave me my character idea for my books. I’m glad I didn’t ignore the door that day in determination to not be interrupted.

  5. C.S. Lewis was a wise man, wasn’t he? Those “interruptions” are exactly what real life is. And maybe that’s the key to my current dilemma with “obstacles and difficulties” in my stories…. Thank you for this post, Char, because you may have just provided the light I need to move forward!

  6. It’s much easier when you plan for interruptions, that is, allow time for interruptions. But it’s also necessary sometimes to say to the interrupter, just a minute, I just have to finish this sentence. I know sometimes that is impossible and so you lose gems, but sometimes the replacement gems can shine more brilliantly.

    • Definitely agree. We each need to figure out the perfect balance or flowing with interruptions and preventing them at other times. I liked Carrie’s sign about Wicked Witch at Work…Enter at your own Risk. I might have to put something like that on my office door.

  7. Perfect topic for me today — my usual evening blog reading got interupted when my internet went down 😦 but now that it’s up, I had to stop by for a visit to be sure and leave a comment 🙂 See you tomorrow for J!

    • Internet. That was another I word I could have used. Sorry about your computer. I hate when our internet goes down too. It usually only does it when I have planned to do research or something important. I think the internet is sentient–like Jane in Ender’s Game. She likes to play tricks on us.

  8. Oh, we love Interrupting Chicken! Especially because that’s what life feels like with little kids most of the time. Life is a series of interruptions and it’s hard to find the flow. The only way I’ve found to focus on one thing at a time when I work is to use a timer. I set it for whatever amount of time I want to spend (but never more than an hour) and once I start it, I can’t do anything else until it dings. It sounds silly but that’s the only thing that works for me to avoid distractions of any kind. Of course, I can only do that without any interrupting chickens around me. 🙂

  9. I have a tough time with interruptions because I’m so cerebral. I don’t use lists to remind me of my chores or which groceries to buy. I basically carry my notebook in my head. So, when I’m in the zone and I’m interrupted, everything flies out the window! And it’s really hard to get back on track. I find the same happens if I’m in the middle of cleaning the bathroom or weeding the garden. I just want to get it done, but if I’m interrupted and taken away from the task I never get back to it. My entire house is full of half-completed tasks. 🙂

    • Yes, I don’t keep lists either (except in dire emergencies when I have too much and it seems overwhelming). And you’re right, interruptions cause me to forget what I was doing…and then it doesn’t get done. I’m even that way when I drive. If I’m talking with someone (which is an interruption in my focus on where I’m going), I don’t turn where I need to (which sometimes has added hours onto my trips out of state when I miss the stupid offramp for Utah outside of Burley. I’ve done that at least 3 times, and had to go on to Pocatello and down that way. Ick!)

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