What’s a guaranteed way to annoy a writer? Interrupt them while they are writing what was to be a spectacularly inspired sentence. Just distract them for a moment, and when the writer looks back at that page, they’ll find you’ve snatched their words away. That sentence will never be the same.
Why are practicing writers hermits? Why the threatening growl or dirty look when you interrupt tapping fingers or scribbling pen? It’s because you’ve just pulled the author out of their own imagined world, and they don’t like it. Not one bit.
Inside that writer’s head, where you can’t see (not yet—when their story’s done, you will see), a magnificent story is unfurling inside a secret world. Characters are interacting, words are forming, lives are being acted out across the stage of the mind. All imaginary. Writers live their stories as the words pass from head to hand to text. And abruptly pulling the director from the scene can leave every character shocked into silence.
Silence. Until the author’s imagination can conjure up the unseen world again.
Evading distraction is a key challenge for writers. And even when you’re allowed to explore your imaginary world uninterrupted, immersing yourself in the intricacies of a story can be thoroughly exhausting. You’ve got to love it. Love shunning reality and dwelling Somewhere Else, love deep imagination, love the story. Love seeing through the mind’s eye.
Know that when you choose to write, you have the unique opportunity of acting as liaison from one world to another. You are the only link, and without you, the worlds will never meet. Welcome the challenges!