By Russel D McLean
There is a fly buzzing round my flat.
It won’t leave.
And it won’t stop long enough for me to swat it.
I’m sitting here, trying to work, and it buzzes past my face, or stops on the computer screen just long enough for me to lose my train of thought and then he’s gone again.
The fly won’t stop buzzing.
I’ve left the windows open, and every time he goes near them I think, at last, he’s leaving.
But he doesn’t.
The fly stays in the room. And buzzes.
I was thinking earlier that perhaps the fly is a metaphor for something. Perhaps the constant buzzing of email and text that distracts us from our real work. It seems a good thing to talk about, but I know its been done to death. All the time you hear people complain about how modern technology actually reduces productivity because it makes itself seem overly important with all that buzzing.
Yet no one seems to do anything about it.
But this fly isn’t a metaphor.
And I think he’s not so much buzzing as laughing.
Because he knows I can’t leave this chair.
People always ask about how I write and work full time. Its about discipline, really. Its about getting the arse in the chait and staying there. I have a target every evening. A minimum of 1k words. Why 1k? Because I have a rule – if I start writing, I cannot leave the chair (even to go to the bathroom) until I’ve written 1k of whatever project I’ve started on. (It is a redraft, then it becomes a page count thing – I have to do a minimum of five pages before standing)
Sometimes this will take twenty minutes.
Sometimes an hour and a half.
But the point is that the rule makes me buckle down and write. It makes me have to ignore the flies – both literal and metaphorical – and it makes me get the damn job done.
In the case of a blog post like this, I have a different target. Its tough to write 1k words every week on a random subject. So I limit myself to 500 and then say that if I do less than 1k then I have to still write on another project that evening.
So this evening, before the fly, I wrote 1K words of a book tentatively titled MOTHERS OF THE DISSAPEARED. It is now 23K deep, and I know what the ending will be.
And all I can think about is the fly. And how, the second I hit my target, I’m going to the damn kitchen and getting out the fly swat.
Yeah, laugh away Mr Fly, you’ve got what’s coming to you.
Even if I am 35 words short.
Russel will be launching his new-look website early next week at a new domain name. In the meantime, check out the preview here.