I'm trying to finish a short story so I can submit it for publication. This should not be difficult; I write short stuff for the blog all the time. And yet, it has taken me something like a full week to scrape together 4,000 words (about six and a half pages).
Part of this is a direct result of trying to write to submission specs instead of just following an idea to see where it goes. The stories in this particular anthology are meant to top out at 4,000 words; the story I'm writing keeps trying to go longer, and I keep trying to rein it back in.
But part of the problem is, well... Let's take a look at yesterday.
1:00 p.m. Finished lunch. Took Secondborn to room for nap.
1:01 p.m. Screaming commences. Secondborn has drawn a line in the sand and will not be moved. THERE WILL BE NO NAPS. FREEDOM!
1:05 p.m. Daddy cuddles with Secondborn in an attempt to get him to realize just how tired he is and just how nice it would be to take a nap and let Daddy do some writing.
1:23 p.m. Screaming continues unabated. Daddy can no longer hear out of right ear. Left eardrum will not uncringe until sometime after dinner. Stuffed animals, pillows, and blankets have been flung about the room by the typhoon forces of two-year-old outrage.
1:45 p.m. Screaming has stopped. Daddy is curled on the floor in the fetal position. Secondborn is still in the right location for a nap, but shows no sign of lying down or being still in any way.
1:52 p.m. Secondborn attempts to climb down and exit the room in search of better opportunities for mayhem. Daddy moves him back up to the Designated Napping Location. Screaming resumes.
2:07 p.m. Mommy comes in to take over. Daddy hauls his shattered psyche back to his computer, and attempts to organize his thoughts for writing.
2:13 p.m. Daddy adds two words to existing, half-finished story.
2:14 p.m. New round of screaming begins in back room. Daddy loses track of all story elements as flashbacks set in.
Somewhere out there, there are people who can write wonderful prose following skillfully-depicted characters through well-organized plots, while caring for children at the same time. I am not one of them. Also, I'm pretty sure that they're hideous alien monsters who pretend to humanity just to make the rest of us look bad.