Most of the people in my world right now know that I am attempting to put together a book of my essays. Most of these people know that I am: childlike and easily distracted as only a master procrastinator can be. When I focus, I'm a laser, but like I said, I'm easily distracted. Once I spent a whole Saturday playing something called the Falling Sand Game. Really, I did. So, yeah, most people avoid distracting me once I do start writing. Most, I say, but not my friend Ruthie.
For about two weeks, I've been getting daily phone calls from Ruthie while I'm trying to write. These calls go about like the one this morning:
Ruthie: "So... how's the writing going?"
Me: "It stopped going when my phone rang."
"Don't you hate that?" Ruthie commiserates. "Man, I hate that."
"Yeah, so, um... I really need to-"
"Have you gotten an agent yet?" Ruthie cuts in. "You know you're going to need an agent."
(I need a good call-blocking app, I remind myself.)
"No agent wants me," I admit. "Agents only want writers who're already published or ones that fit some specific mold. I'm not published and I don't fit any mold. I am the mold."
"You're just tired of rejection," Ruthie tells me (because Ruthie knows all). "Writing is hard work. You need to concentrate on writing and have an agent to take care of the rest."
(Fact: Ruthie has never written anything other than nasty notes to her ex-husband's new girlfriend. She once wanted to start a blog but that required staying out of my business long enough to, you know, write.)
"Ruthie, I really need to go, I-"
"Tell you what, why don't I look up some agents for you?"
To drop Ruthie a go-away hint, I sigh really loud, as if I'm so busy writing that I didn't even hear her. That didn't work at all.
"I'm booting up my computer," she says, and I can hear her tapping keys. "I'm going to scout out some agents right now..."
I forgot that Ruthie wouldn't take a hint if it came with a cookie. I also forgot that if I lose my temper and bang on my keyboard, bad things can happen. I banged my fist on the keyboard. A really bad thing happened and I saw all day's writing disappear from my screen.
"Damnit, damnit!" I scream. "Now I've gone and lost everything I worked on today! See what happens when you call me in the middle of things? Can you please put a freaking reminder on your phone to not call me while I'm writing? Can you go scout that out, Ruthie? Can you? Will you?"
Ruthie finally got the hint. Of course, now I feel bad and can't focus on writing. So I'll just have to do something else until I calm down...
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