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Monday, June 28, 2010

Finding Quiet Time

One thing I find really difficult with my husband home all the time, is the ability to get a bit of quiet time in my own home. I often go to one of my favourite cafes to write in my journal, but what I really want is some place quiet I can do that here, at home, with no one else around. It seems to be asking the impossible.

For one thing, he likes noise going, even when he's studying. I prefer silence. He is pretty much always here, so just doing something without him there is not going to happen. I know I could insist on being alone, but I feel the need to explain myself. That just seems like a lot of trouble.

I have to make do with writing in public, but it's just annoying. I suppose all I'm doing is having a complain about it. I don't know how to explain it, but I feel a bit of solace in your own home is necessary.

Do any of my other readers cope with a similar problem? Please write about it in the comments section if you do. Perhaps you have some good tips for me.

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  1. I have no tips, Heather. I am like you. I need-need-need silence to process life. I am alone almost all the time fortunately, so I get it. Music is very enjoyable to me, but I can't think and listen at the same time.

    I don't know what I'd do if I were in your situation. I have earplugs, but they only mute the sound---I probably would do that. I have had the Bose noise-canceling headsets on planes and they do the same thing--just mute the noise. I would use the cheap foam earplugs. Another thing I use is headsets with an iPod or computer and then have quiet new age music, which is better than the sounds of people talking, radio or television.

    Also, you could negotiate with hubbie for HIM to use a headset for a certain part of the day---say even a half hour, which I'm sure would help.

    Hope this helps some,


  2. I am probably the luckiest female writer in Western Australia, if not the world - I have my own rooms (yeah, plural) that are set apart from the family a bit. After I put dinner on the table every night, I come 'off shift'... that's it. I come down here after dessert and write or fiddle or write or play games until about midnight and they leave me alone, because they are all engrossed in THEIR own shiny rectangular windows on the digital world. What a funny lot we are: I often get emails from them, down the passage!
    Tips? Get everyone their own laptop. Realistically? Make tiny gradual changes until you reach a satisfying plateau - and people will be used to your new regime in gradual stages. Give everyone their 'unavailable' times, so that you can have yours. Read the book by Elaine Fantle Shimberg - pity about the title, (How to be a successful housewife/writer) and it's a bit outdated, but some is still valid.

  3. I think you know my trick, I get up at 5 and sometimes I play hookey and pretend to go to work but really I go to the zoo or the botanic garden. Or any other place that gives me solitude, an artists date and the change to hear myself and the muse. The tiny changes are a great idea, it took me a while to educate my partner to not start making noise until 6.30, he respects that now. I realise it is a bit more of a challenge for you, with the kids and your husband. Isn't the old adage you get what you give, I like Rosanne's idea of giving the house "mates" unavailable time, so you can have yours. There will always be some tension there, I haven't been able to resolve that need completely.

  4. Well, I have been enjoying the house on my own in the mornings, lately. Since beginning morning pages again I've been getting up earlier and doing the pages. It kind of clears my head a little for the start of the day. Seems to help a lot. ;-)