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An enforced holiday from writing

School holidays are not conducive to writing.

In the past two weeks I’ve managed to squeeze in a full half-hour of dedicated writing time – and that was only because there was a conveniently placed cafe near a playground and I managed to convince hubby that I could do with some time to myself. It was just enough time to read back over what I’d written and add about three lines.

I’ve employed a variety of strategies to keep the youngster amused and give myself some free time – including movie afternoons, Lego sessions, and sending him outside to play – but he doesn’t like doing anything by himself.

Trying to involve him in the writing hasn’t worked either. We’ve chatted about a new story idea, and he has some very imaginative suggestions, but getting words down on paper is ‘boring’ and nowhere near as good as a book that’s already finished.

I’ve managed to sneak away to the other end of the house while he’s focused on a movie, but that lasted all of 10 minutes. I did try to write in the same room, but kids’ movies do not make for good background noise, especially when coupled with ‘Mum – did you see that!’ every two minutes. Apparently I build Lego ‘better than Dad’ (the youngster is an expert at flattery already!), so I have to be involved. And because winter has set in, the time outside has been limited by gale-force winds and rain that seems to bucket down as soon as we leave the house.

We’ve gone to the library, out for lunch and to the movies, and today we’re catching the train to Melbourne. We’re also busy getting real estate appraisals done before we put our house on the market, decluttering, cleaning and re-decluttering after the toys we’ve put away mysteriously migrate back to the living room.

With all this going on, I’m having withdrawals from writing. Even now, I’m belting this out at full speed, squeezing it in between cleaning the kitchen, supervising the putting away toys, explaining to the youngster that ‘put away’ does not mean ‘throw through your bedroom door’, packing for our trip to the city – wet weather gear a must – and another visit from another real estate agent.

My uni course starts again next week, but I’m taking fewer subjects and they are practical not theoretical – so I can write and study at the same time. With the youngster back in the school routine I’ll be back in the writing routine with a quiet house, no distractions (other than, hopefully, a steady stream of potential buyers for the house), and no interruptions.

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