Coitus Interruptus

It’s driving me crazy.  I’ve been trying for months, and I get interrupted partway through every time.  I’m so frustrated because I just can’t finish

The sex scene in my latest book, I mean.

My writing process borders on obsessive-compulsive.  I begin by re-reading and editing everything I’ve written the previous several days, just to get back into the story.  Then I write, then I edit what I’ve just written, and then I repeat.  And repeat.  And… repeat.

If I’m interrupted, it completely throws me.  If it’s a minor interruption, I can sometimes jump back into the story, but usually I have to go back several scenes and start again.  By the time one of my books is ready for release, I’ve re-read (and usually re-written) every single word at least 50 times.

How Spy I Am goes out to my beta readers this week, so you can guess how many times I’ve edited this sex scene.  And I’ve never gotten through it uninterrupted.

Not.  Once.

No matter how the stars and planets are aligned, no matter what precautions I’ve taken, there’s always something.  A conversation that requires more input than “Mmm-hmmm”.  A doorbell.  An alarm.

I’ve tried working at my desk, at somebody else’s kitchen table, out in the woods, and in the car (no, I was not driving at the time).  Same damn thing.  I get partway through that scene, and something happens to drag me away.

I tried it in the airport boarding lounge.  I figured, who the hell would interrupt me there?  Nobody talks to anybody in the airport.


It was all I could do not to leap up and scream, “Do you mind?  I’m trying to have sex over here!”  Which might have been amusing, come to think of it.  Maybe I’ll try that some time, just for giggles.  Anyway…

Last week, I made an editing date with myself.  Put all my other work aside and gave myself permission to not make supper/do laundry/whatever.  I had several gloriously uninterrupted hours at my desk.  I was in the editing zone.  Before I knew it, I was half-way through the sex scene, thinking, “At last, I’ll get through this…”

The phone rang.

The call involved a family member and hospitalization.  Fortunately nothing life-threatening, but definitely one of those calls you have to take.  And there I was, left hanging.  Again.

This week is my last chance.  Hubby’s away on business.  I’ve discharged all my responsibilities for my “real” job.  My inboxes (both paper and virtual) are empty.  I plan to leave my phone in the house, close the windows, lock the doors, and take my laptop out to the shed in the back yard.  It’s a sordid place to have sex, but by now I have no self-respect left.

After all, what could possibly happen to interrupt me out there?

But if you see a headline about a woman who died when her garden shed was struck by lightning out of a clear blue sky, don’t look for a blog post next week.

Postscript:  I was editing again after I wrote the draft for this post.  Right in the middle of the fateful scene… my mouse batteries died.   FML.

34 thoughts on “Coitus Interruptus

  1. bigsheepcommunications might have a point there…but then again, it made for a very funny post! It wasn’t funny that you felt terrible frustrated and unsatisfied, BUT it was still …funny..hehe.


  2. Title sorta’ reminded me of Sheldon’s commentary on “The Big Bang Theory”! Hilarious, but, sadly the truth about writing prevails. Writing is fun, is WORK, is exasperating as well as exhilerating… Great one. Thanks.


  3. Oh, too funny! That title was NOT fair and the rest of this account was a riot. The scene at the airport lounge was great and having no self respect left to write in such a ‘sordid’ place like the shed…but I am fervently hoping you didn’t tempt fate a little too far with the lightning remark. Sometimes karma can be so sadistic with a sick twist of irony thrown in. Here’s to you surviving the shed to write again! Besides, if you kick the bucket prematurely, no telling who gets their grubby paws on your torque wrench!


  4. Ha ha! Loved the title of this blog post. That should land you some interesting search terms. 🙂

    Here’s wishing you uninterupted success in your quest for editorial climax!


  5. Perhaps the universe is trying to tell you that this scene is not meant to reach a conclusion, however unsatisfying that may be …


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