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Admittedly, I’m a little weird. I like to think it’s weird-in-a-good-way, but I’m not like everyone else. Most people can’t sit in front of a computer and work on a novel for 8 or 10 hours a day. They can’t crank out 6 books in twelve months and still feel energized to do it again. It takes a certain kind of person to get excited about that much writing.

And it’s great, because that much focus means I CAN write 6 books a year! I love it. It fuels me. I’m not content without a project on the go and a few more lined up. But it also means that I am able to sit by myself all day long, every single day (you know, besides evenings and weekends when my family comes back) and sit in absolute silence.

I’m not joking. Silence.

Photo by Pam Brophy

Photo by Pam Brophy

Most people listen to music when they work, drive, cook… do stuff. I recognize that’s normal, but I can’t. In fact, I have trouble listening to music at all because it has too much going on… it’s overwhelming. I’ve had to teach my son to sit quietly in the back seat when I’m driving, because I can’t change lanes and answer kid questions at the same time. “Mom, why are the colors on the police flashing lights different than the colors on the ambulance flashing lights?” I have the ability to focus really intensely on a project, but I can’t both steer and discuss emergency vehicles. So that focus has a few drawbacks. I’m not fun company on a road trip, for example. 😉

Mr. Johns loves listening to music, so he has to use headphones a lot. It isn’t that I dislike music in itself, because I can appreciate the beauty, etc, but it tickles a part of my brain that goes Ka-Boom if I’m not 100% focused on that music. So in church, or while watching a movie with background music, I’m fine. I’m focused. The music has my attention. But the radio in the car, music playing in my home somewhere, more than one noise happening at once (like the rattle of Lego while I’m trying to watch a TV show), and my brain can’t take it.

Which is why I prefer silence. Perfect silence, for 6-8 hours during the day. It soothes me after all the noise and distraction of everyday life. My thoughts can come back together again and focus on my newest novel… it’s sweet relief.

So there you have it–the secret of my superpower. This is how I do it–I never once claimed it was balanced, but it works for me. LOL!

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