I feel better now that Marshall has 1) graduated from high school with a cocaine habit and 2) gotten his job in Haskell's Barber Shop. He really DID get hooked while still in high school, I found out, and he also had a stint learning to be a barber, so I worked these in.
Today I tried two different things. One, I worked at home while R and N were in the same room with me. I had made them promise that they would not distract me, and they were pretty good about it. I also made them promise to tell me to keep writing, which N delighted in doing. ;-)
Two, I used Write Or Die. I put in "500 words" and "30 minutes" each time, wrote till I had 500 words (took about 15 mins. each time) and then stopped, copied my writing to the main text, and took a break. Did it till I had 2500 words, and then stopped. The great thing about it was I first showed it to R & N, and then when I was interrupted (exactly once each session by one or tother of them, the music went off and reminded them of what they'd done, so then they didn't interrupt again.
And I was even able to continue writing through them talking to me, which amazes me. So I truly have learned to compartmentalize. What I did was plan out each 500-word segment ahead of time - not the exact words, but the topic I was going to address (Marshall's graduating with a drug habit and how that came about, for example). If I didn't finish it, which I often didn't, then I'd continue it on in the next segment. But having the plan in mind meant I could keep working on it and just let the words come out even with someone talking to me, and even follow what was being said to me, which I never realized I was capable of. Split personality, much?
I think I may continue this after a break, since N is sitting here watching Cirque du Soleil DVDs and R is doing origami, both keeping me company. If they're not minding my writing up a storm, and the writing is flowing, then I might as well keep it up. It would be fabulous if I could get done before C got home on the 21st, so I could devote more time to him. (Also, I'm getting a bunch of papers to grade on Monday, which I should get graded by next Monday . . . I swore I would not let this interfere with work.)
Interestingly, No Plot? No Problem is right on target with its (Chris Baty's) advice about weeks. This is the beginning of Week Three, so I read the Week Three advice last night, and one of the things it suggested was to do precisely what I did today: write in 500-word spurts. I hadn't planned to do that until I saw it was raining buckets today and N and R were both feeling kind of down, and I thought gee, I really don't want to go off for two hours and leave them alone here, so maybe this is a way to stay home with them and keep them from feeling so sad. It worked on a number of different levels.
Good book. Good advice. And I am loving NaNo and I plan to do it again next year for sure!