Far From a Silent Writer

A friend of mine started working at home recently, and she said that she finds the weirdest thing about it is not leaving the house until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, when she has to carpool her daughter from school.

I said that didn’t bother me so much — to me, the weirdest thing about working at home is that I can’t do it when others are in the house. So weekend working is out for me — I just cannot be productive as a writer unless the house is totally empty.

What’s that all about?

Well, I finally figured it out yesterday. It’s because I talk out loud when I write.

And it’ s not that I mouth the words that I’m writing (which I do). The problem is that I…well, I sort of cheer.

For example, for the last few weeks I’ve been working on some…don’t get me wrong, I love my clients and my assignments, but I would have to say the recent work has been tedious. It’s a product story, and part of my research has involved digging into websites, press releases and interview notes to compile lists with pricing, warranty, features, and other dry information for almost a dozen brands. I wanted to get it done in one sitting, so I wouldn’t have to return to it ever again.

So because I was thinking about the whole experience of working at home, I ended up listening to myself.

When I finished a paragraph, I said in a loud whisper, “Good.”

When I finished two more, I said full out, “Almost done!”

And when it was almost dinnertime and I was hungry and tired and this close to giving up, I started furiously typing as I basically sang to myself, “You can do it, you can do it, you can do it, you can do it…”

A few time my kids have come home and walked in on my when I was in the middle of one of my “cheers” — what an embarassment. Sometimes they’ll say, “What?” because they thought I was talking to them. So I have to explain that I was just talking to myself, which of course makes them laugh out loud or roll their eyes like I’m nuts.

I have a writer friend who works at her local library every day. I tell her that I can’t work that way, because I do a lot of phone interviews, which is true. But I’ve never told her the real reason — which is that I’m scared I’ll blurt out “There you go!” or some other embarrassing word of encouragement intended entirely for myself (although she’ll learn the truth if she reads this).

Ooops…just screamed out “Finished the blog, YES!” Did you hear it?

So come clean: Do you talk out loud when you write? What do you say?

Another chatty day in the life of just another working writer!





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3 Responses to “Far From a Silent Writer”

  1. jiminhan Says:

    I talk out loud when I’m in other pressure situations. Maybe this is a good thing to try. Lol. Thanks!

  2. danbracewell Says:

    Hadn’t thought about this. I’m pretty quiet when I write. But I’m like you, I have to be free from distraction. There can be things going on around me, but I can’t be disturbed or I’m taken out of my zone (which takes about 15 minutes to kick in).

    I’ve been known to roar at both my wife and children to “GO AWAY!!” though.

    Probably should find a nicer way to do that, heh.

    • justanotherworkingwriter Says:

      It’s so hard to be nice about interruptions, isn’t it? I don’t even realize how mean I’m being until after I’m done writing — then I can’t believe I said the things I did! I often go around the house apologizing after a long writing session.

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