I really needed to read this quote this week from E. B. White:
I’m able to work fairly well among ordinary distractions. My house has a living room that is at the core of everything that goes on: it is a passageway to the cellar, to the kitchen, to the closet where the phone lives. There’s a lot of traffic. But it’s a bright, cheerful room, and I often use it as a room to write in, despite the carnival that is going on all around me.
In consequence, the members of my household never pay the slightest attention to my being a writing man — they make all the noise and fuss they want to. If I get sick of it, I have places I can go. A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.
E. B. White, Paris Review Interview
Thanks to James Clear for sharing it as one of twelve daily routines of famous writers.
My office is in the back room of our basement. There is no door. About 90% of the toys in the house are down here. Its hard to keep the kids upstairs while I’m working during the day. I can hear the baby crying through the air ducts. The furnace is right behind the wall next to my basement. We have hardwood floors on the first floor and my daughters like to dance (a lot).
Needless to say . . .
It gets LOUD.
Coffitivity is a wonderful app that creates the sounds of a coffee shop. I use it often. Sometimes, when the kids have friends over for example, I go to an actual coffee shop.
I used to write a lot during lunch breaks in the office. Sometimes it would get loud there too.
I have been waking up at 5:00 a.m. to write before the rest of the family wakes up, but usually at least one of my daughters is downstairs in the basement playing by 6:00 a.m.
The point is, there is no excuses. Writers have to write. Writers who are fathers and husbands, have to write even with the kids sound like a carnival.
The truth is there is never a perfect time and place to write.
If you keep waiting for the perfect situation to get into a creative mood, then you will be waiting a very, very long time.
As E. B. White said, you may end up waiting the rest of your life.