At the office, nobody bothered me. The president of the ad agency for which I worked thought I was a genius. He didn’t want anyone to disturb me, because he wanted to be sure I would create winning storyboards for our… for his clients.
At home, after dinner with my wife and kids, I’d go to my den to write for my television series, “The Waterville Gang”. I’d wrap my head around a concept for an episode and start to type. I wrote the whole series on a Remington electric portable typewriter. It’s much easier these days, and I don’t waste paper with discarded pages. I now could just email scripts to the director.
When I had a general idea for an episode, I’d type for about seven minutes until one of the kids would interrupt me. Perhaps her Granny doll lost its glasses. So good ol’ Dad (me) cuts and bends a wire coat hanger and makes very fetching new frames for Granny doll. She goes off relieved, and pleased to have had my attention.
I return to the chore at hand, a script for a television episode. It was enjoyable, writing a twenty-two minute script compared to writing thirty second commercials in my day job. Not that I didn’t love creating commercials, it’s just that when I’m my own client, and need to please only myself, I enjoy the freedom of expression. I create the good guys and the bad guys, the good girls and the bad girls, the authorities, the rewards and the punishments where, when and how I see fit.
I might be writing for another twelve to fifteen minutes before my son saunters into my (supposed) forbidden home office/studio den. Perhaps a tire has come off his little metal fire truck. I ask him where the tire is. He points at the cab of the toy. I see it’s been folded up and stuffed in through a window. I ask how it got in there and he tells me he put it in. I ask why; he shrugs.
I fish the tire out with a tool made from a paper clip, straighten out the tire and mount it on its little wheel. He saunters away, secure and satisfied. I love it when my kids come to me. The sweet interruptions of the children are a distraction, of course. I return to my script knowing full well that one of the kids or their mother will be interrupting me again, and it’s okay. I write very quickly between interruptions.
Interruptions are part of the process in my creative work, and they are a sweet scourge.