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View Full Version : Do you ignore people when you're "in the zone"



sophiab
09-23-2013, 12:06 PM
I hope I'm not the only one. I feel bad, I mean, my husband comes home and I'm in my own world sometimes. I'll look up and say hi, but my mind is somewhere else. Then, I'll realize he's been talking to me and I haven't heard a thing. I know when he gets home too and am thinking of stopping work to clear my head before he gets back. That way I'm not so out of it. Anyway, does this happen to you?

alleycat
09-23-2013, 12:40 PM
I try to ignore people even when I'm not in the zone. :-)

I mostly have to be by myself to be "in the zone." I do sometimes take a walk alongside a river to clear my head and work out whatever problems I've having (writing related or otherwise); I can get so deep in thought that I only vaguely notice other people (a snake slithering across the path will tend to pull me out however).

Fallen
09-23-2013, 12:50 PM
Oh yes... to the point it becomes a running joke in our house. :) The kids even have sticks at hand to give me a prod when I'm too far gone. Hubby says he's going to design a few cards that can pop up when I type, all:

Yes, luv.
No, luv.
Aiens could invade and go probing and I still wouldn't care, luv.

I said, sure, so long as I design a few of my own:

:Coffee:, please and :e2sling: for his lip.

I just try and zone at certain times so they know I'm... zoning.

Anninyn
09-23-2013, 01:07 PM
I bloody well try to.

And I refuse to feel guilty. I refuse to feel selfish. I need to be left alone to write, and if I'm in the zone it goes doubly so. He doesn't feel guilty for ignoring a text message for a couple of hours when he's at work, so why should I feel guilty for ignoring him?

In The Zone is a magical, wonderful place and I won't cut it short. He can entertain himself for half an hour till I'm back.

Putputt
09-23-2013, 01:39 PM
I don't just ignore people when I'm in the zone, I snap my jaws at them and snarl (I really do this) if they continue talking to me. The only reason I feel bad doing this is cause I should be writing early in the day when Mr. Putt's at work, instead of procrastinating all day and then writing when he's home...but other than that, if I'm working on a deadline or something, nope, no guilt whatsoever.

bearilou
09-23-2013, 02:09 PM
...hm? I'm sorry, were you talking to me?

Cyia
09-23-2013, 02:27 PM
Oh yes, I definitely zone out. Most of the time, I hear nothing other than my book in my head, but I also apparently will answer on occasion, and have no idea what I've said or that I've spoken.

sophiab
09-23-2013, 03:28 PM
Wow! I feel so much better! Thanks y'all :)

Parametric
09-23-2013, 03:34 PM
I do a lot of walking around my home city since I'm too cheap to take the bus, and I put my earphones in and cue my novel soundtrack so I can get some serious thinking time. I've blanked so many people this way. I don't even notice them, I'm totally immersed in my own world. :tongue

folkchick
09-23-2013, 04:25 PM
My son is always asking me to look at whatever he's doing—Minecraft, Legos, headstands, etc. Every two seconds he'll say, "Look, Mama. Look, Mama. Look at this, Mama." If I'm in the zone I'll mumble out something like "Cool" or "Very good." After a bit of that I'll beg him to go do something else or please, for the love of God, please be quiet for a while. The problem is in his book 'a while' is only like three seconds.

kaitie
09-23-2013, 04:42 PM
On rare occasion I'll do this, but very rarely. Most of the time even when I'm into something I can still multitask to an extent. I was much better when I used to work in a giant office with forty teacher's desks and students milling about all the time. Now I get distracted more easily.

From the other side of the coin, however, my boyfriend zones out all the time doing various things. Reading a book is the worst. It drives me absolutely insane. I can sit there and say his name over and over and over and he says he doesn't even hear me, or I can start talking to him thinking he's listening, only to find out he listened to one sentence and stopped paying attention.

He's getting a lot better, but that's part of the reason I make an effort to be able to at least respond. I figure if it drives me that crazy, I should try not to do it back to him.

NeuroFizz
09-23-2013, 05:15 PM
When I'm writing, I have to get up and walk around every 20 minutes or so, mostly to let my mind spin on what is happening in the story, but also because I just need to get up and move around. I don't mind interacting with people during my walk-abouts unless I have a raging idea that requires a quick trip back to the computer or to a pad of note paper.

KTC
09-23-2013, 05:27 PM
I get the "YOU NEVER LISTEN" line at home. I give the "YOU ALWAYS INTERRUPT ME WHEN I'M HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH THE PEOPLE IN MY HEAD" line.

It's a bit of a joke, but seriously...if you're sitting there typing away (I consider my fictional writing to be WORK) and someone speaks to you...who's the rude one?

NeuroFizz
09-23-2013, 05:59 PM
For a person with a family, writing shouldn't be a war, or a jealously guarded activity. I consciously chose to have a family, and I will give those family members the same love and respect I expect them to give to me. This includes some privacy time, but I'm not going to continually bite their heads off if they infringe on that private time. They are kids, and I don't expect them to be miniature adults. Besides, since I'm a part-time single parent, I cherish the time I have with my kids, so writing takes a back seat to my time with them.

kkbe
09-23-2013, 06:09 PM
When I'm in the zone, I'm really concentrating. If my concentration is broken, intentionally or otherwise, I'm instantly irritated. I have to watch that.

folkchick
09-23-2013, 06:27 PM
Because I don't like the feeling of being irritated with any other human, especially my kids, I spend most of my writing time early in the morning and during school hours. This summer I wrote tons while the kids were sleeping in. Now that they're at school, I feel out-of-sorts and have to get used to a new schedule and a painfully empty house. So stupid, but what I do is turn on Minecraft or Spongebob in the background so I can trick my brain into thinking they're home. : )

Corussa
09-23-2013, 06:30 PM
I do a lot of walking around my home city since I'm too cheap to take the bus, and I put my earphones in and cue my novel soundtrack so I can get some serious thinking time. I've blanked so many people this way. I don't even notice them, I'm totally immersed in my own world. :tongue

I'm glad I'm not the only one who does this! I've had people practically have to jump up and down in front of me to get my attention in the street, because I'm plugged into music and imagining scenes from my WIP... :)

DeleyanLee
09-23-2013, 06:36 PM
I've been fortunate enough that most of my adult life has been spent with other writers, so they understand being "in the zone". Since I don't normally grunt answers, when I do, they leave me alone and let me be until there's an emergency (such as it's been 12 hours since I've last eaten--not good).

And since they're writers also, I've been respectful of their zones when they find them. My present housemate needs absolute silence when she's in the zone, so when she's serious about writing, she has bright red baseball cap she wears so I know at a glance not to interrupt her.

When I had kids, there was always "quiet play time" when Mama was at the computer. When "quiet play time" was done, they knew that I'd do something fun with them (play ground, game, make something fun to eat, etc.), so they were really good about letting me write for an hour or so. (As they got older, they'd ask me to read them what I'd been writing, or we'd discuss it and they'd brainstorm with me--I loved brainstorming with my kids.)

It's all about mutual respect, IMO.

NellaFantasia
09-23-2013, 06:49 PM
I wish I could ignore people when I'm "in the zone". But no, when I'm in that glorious moment of being present in my character's world and someone says one word to me, the bubble pops and I lose it. To give my husband credit though, if I tell him I'm "not home" (aka, put on headphones and write), he does leave me alone until I'm finished. I just have to remember to do that.

The animals, however, are not as easily persuaded.

AshleyEpidemic
09-23-2013, 07:57 PM
If I'm in the zone I'm alone. I certainly can write when people are around, but I notice a dramatic difference in productivity and quality. When I'm alone, I can do 2000 words in an hour and aside from some typos, it's mostly good. When I'm writing around my boyfriend, I can get maybe 500 words in an hour and half of it won't make sense. I just use my alone time wisely.

Wilde_at_heart
09-23-2013, 09:42 PM
I try to! :rant:

Siri Kirpal
09-23-2013, 11:33 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I smile sweetly, nod, and turn back to my computer. Later, I'll ask my guy, "So, what was that you were talking to me about?"

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

jaksen
09-23-2013, 11:53 PM
I have people I can't ignore - my autistic son for one. It's not easy to get back into what I was doing after a twenty-min. break or so to tend to his needs. But I want to write, so I had to learn to leave handle distractions.

However, this fall I am spending some time alone - all by myself! - for a few days each week. It is wonderful, wondrous, wunderbar - not enough wonder-words to describe. All I do is write, read, eat. Repeat. Write, read, repeat.

Brutal Mustang
09-24-2013, 12:02 AM
Anyway, does this happen to you?

Absolutely. However, the past year I've been living alone with my cat and two horses, and they don't let me be 'in the zone', if they're hungry. The horses have learned to paw the metal corral if I'm late with their dinner (it's an aggravating sound). The kitty has learned this new meow that sounds like she's being skinned alive.

CrastersBabies
09-24-2013, 12:02 AM
I get so into the zone, that I don't even hear people come around me. It's not that I ignore them, I just don't hear them.

People at work, my family, will scare the living heck out of me when they come up on me and I'm so engrossed that I don't know they're there. It really is a writing tunnel vision.

I remember my husband thinking (I'm not kidding you) that I was doing something behind his back, or seeing someone else because whenever he'd come up on me at my computer, I'd nearly jump out of my skin. (He thought I was chatting with someone, or writing super secret emails.) I can't blame him! I started showing him what I was doing and now he pretty much expects to see "the manuscript" on the screen.

And he's gotten better about announcing himself further away. "I'm coming up the stairs! Here I come!" I mean, it's a joke now, but seriously, if he didn't do that, I'd have a full-fledged heart attack.


I do a lot of walking around my home city since I'm too cheap to take the bus, and I put my earphones in and cue my novel soundtrack so I can get some serious thinking time. I've blanked so many people this way. I don't even notice them, I'm totally immersed in my own world. :tongue

I do this too! I have had important people on campus try to flag me down, and I'm walking away, the heavy beat of soundtrack music in my head. You know, my i-pod stopped working last week and I nearly had a breakdown. No way I could afford a new one, but found a decent used one at a pawn shop. I didn't know what I was going to do without it.

Roxxsmom
09-24-2013, 02:32 AM
I get so into the zone, that I don't even hear people come around me. It's not that I ignore them, I just don't hear them.

People at work, my family, will scare the living heck out of me when they come up on me and I'm so engrossed that I don't know they're there. It really is a writing tunnel vision.



Ha, I mentioned your post to my husband, because it reminded me of what happens with us sometimes. It prompted a serious discussion about how I used to love going out and doing stuff on the weekends, but now it's always him who suggests going out to movies or the park or whatever, and how I'm just on the computer all the time.

Which is funny, because I used to initiate the same conversations when we both played WoW (but I felt like he was more into it than I was). But it's definitely true that since I've been writing (and partaking of online writing communities) I've become more introverted and less tolerant of the hassles associated with getting in the car and driving somewhere in order to do something "out in the world." I used to climb the walls if I couldn't get out now and again.

Balancing writing, or anything else virtual, with real life is always important.

Insomnicole
09-24-2013, 05:46 AM
My husband is pretty good about giving me space during my writing time. My cat, on the other hand, is a relentless head-bumper.

kaitie
09-24-2013, 06:33 AM
My dog is the impossible one. I can deal with people talking to me, but the dog decides he either wants attention or wants to be in my lap, and his way of letting me know is to paw the keyboard. Drives me insane. His particular favorite is the escape key.

Brightdreamer
09-24-2013, 08:26 AM
I try to ignore people even when I'm not in the zone. :-)


+1

When I'm focused, I tune out the external world and its inhabitants. I've upset family more than once for this habit. (My cats were harder to ignore...)

thepicpic
09-24-2013, 10:59 AM
I'm usually pretty good at it. Family know not to bother me when I shut myself away and for the most part I don't mind stopping to reply to texts, etc. as a short break. Then there are those moments where I 'forget' to respond because I'm working on a seriously good scene...

junebugaboo
09-25-2013, 12:16 AM
Man, I'm always out to lunch when it comes to the real world whenever the writing bug's bitten especially hard. Whenever my husband initiates convo and I'm completely wired into my WIP and research, I nod my head and give a few "mm-hmms"...it drives him crazy. I feel horrible afterward-- "afterward" being the key word.

CrastersBabies
09-25-2013, 03:53 AM
Ha, I mentioned your post to my husband, because it reminded me of what happens with us sometimes. It prompted a serious discussion about how I used to love going out and doing stuff on the weekends, but now it's always him who suggests going out to movies or the park or whatever, and how I'm just on the computer all the time.

Which is funny, because I used to initiate the same conversations when we both played WoW (but I felt like he was more into it than I was). But it's definitely true that since I've been writing (and partaking of online writing communities) I've become more introverted and less tolerant of the hassles associated with getting in the car and driving somewhere in order to do something "out in the world." I used to climb the walls if I couldn't get out now and again.

Balancing writing, or anything else virtual, with real life is always important.

We are having these same conversations. It's odd how much of this rings true for me as well. It is a juggling act, though. I could stay "inside my writing head" 18 hours a day if given the chance. It's interesting when your book becomes a mistress of sorts. But we find ways around that.

I have also become more of an introvert. Part of me thinks, "Why bother going out when I can finish this writing project?"

Jamesaritchie
09-25-2013, 07:41 PM
I'm lucky, I guess, I have set writing hours, and when I'm writing there's no one around to ignore. When I'm not writing, I don't even think about it. Not at all.