Purveyor of fine fantasy adventures

Trouble and strife

Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband dearly.  In fact, if I loved him any more, it would be downright unhealthy.  But I can’t write whilst he’s in the house.

He’s had a week off work, and it’s a miracle I’ve got any writing done at all.  He’s trying not to interrupt me, bless him, but just having someone else in the house creeping about trying not to be a nuisance is driving me up the wall.

Part of it is my fault.  I’m very conscious that he works hard and he’s having some time off and deserves to be able to relax, but I’m sitting here at my desk worrying that he’s feeling bored/under-appreciated/neglected in some way, instead of what I should be doing.

When he goes out to the gym, it’s fine.  I can’t hear him, and don’t need to worry about him.  But when he’s here…

If he’s watching TV, I can hear it up here in the office.  Even if he turns it down, it’s audible above the volume of my music, which lately I’ve taken to listening to at incredibly low levels so it drowns out the silence without distracting me too much.

If he goes for a soak in the bath, I can hear *his* music over mine.  If he’s using his computer in the study along the hall, I can hear him watching music videos, typing, or God help me, farting.

Of course, I could shut my office door, but then the cats can’t get in and will sit outside crying and pulling at the carpet, making me feel a heel for ignoring them.  I’ll feel twice the heel for only communicating with my husband when he brings me a fresh cup of tea.

The other alternative is to take a break from writing, and go curl up on the sofa with him.  But if I do that, I start worrying about deadlines, and whether I’m neglecting my book, and I’m unable to relax.  I can’t win.

Noise-cancelling headphones.  It’s the only solution.  That, or divorce.




  1. JC Martin @ The Fighter Writer

    I thoroughly relate with this! My desktop is in the living room, and my fiancé who works early mornings will spend the day slumped in front of it with the volume on high. I’ve tried using ear defenders, which works to some extent, but then he will get tempted to start a conversation with me!

    My solution? Bought a lovely pink netbook so I can retreat to the bedroom for peace whenever I need some writing time!

    Of course, sometimes I just give in to those pleading eyes begging me for some attention and join him in some couch potato workout…

    Great blog by the way! Found you on the bloghop! In fact, I like it so much there’s a blog award waiting for you on my site. 😉


    • Ellie

      Wow, my first award! Thank you 🙂

  2. Roland D. Yeomans

    There’s always putting sleeping pills in his coffee!

    Glad to find your blog in the hop. Hope you find the right pair of sound-blockers. Roland

    • Ellie

      Sennheiser PXC 450s are winging their way towards me as we speak, Roland. No more washing machine, tumble dryer, next door’s kids…

  3. Sam

    Thank goodness it’s not just me! I was beginning to think I was the only one who couldn’t write when there are other people in the house (please don’t ask me about the fortnight we had the bathroom fitters in). I can’t even listen to music while I write or my characters keep asking me to turn it down. As I write this during the school summer holidays I am incredibly grateful for grnadparents, I may not get much done for the next few weeks, but without them my writing workrate would be zero.

    BTW, my Other Half has that way of creeping about the house so as not to disturb me too, and it drives me mad!

  4. Mesmerix

    Hi Elspeth! I’m stopping by on Tessa’s blog-hop. I loved the excerpt and congratulations on getting picked up by Gollancz! I’ve subscribed to your RSS feed and am looking forward to reading more.

    Oh, and I know exactly what you mean about distractions at home. I often feel I get more of my writing done while at my day job or on the bus than I do in my house.

  5. N. Gemini Sasson

    Yay! I’m not the only one who has this issue. In my husband’s old job, he would sometimes spontaneously show up at home to work – which meant I didn’t.

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