I recently enjoyed my annual reread of A Room with a View by E. M. Forster. On this occasion, I found myself strongly sympathising with one of the characters. Lucy? Mr. Emerson? Cecil? No, it was Freddy.
It was the scene where the reader meets him for the first time at the beginning of part two. He was studying a 'small manual of anatomy' and 'From time to time he bounced in his chair and puffed and groaned, for the day was hot and the print small... and his mother, who was writing a letter, did continually read out to him what she had written.' Ah, the dreaded interruptions when you're trying to concentrate. Ironically, as I was trying to read the passage, a similar scene played out at home. Someone constantly came into the room to ask me to look at something they were doing.
At the start of the lockdown, much of the focus was on how hard people would find the isolation, but I'm sure there must be many writers who were used to being able to potter about the house working out what to put next, who had their routines upended and trains of thought derailed by their loved ones' home schooling, or decision to get on with all the jobs they'd been putting off for years. Is there anything more frustrating than having just wrestled your characters back onto your plot route, or finding those elusive words after wracking your brain for longer than most gym sessions, only to have them evaporate as someone bursts in to ask if their hair's sticking out, or have you seen their keys?
It's no good getting irritated. Home might be your workplace, but for your nearest and dearest, it's the place where they normally relax, and they're struggling to get into a different mindset. They haven't been there to see your work routine before, and they're probably suffering from the misconception that you are only writing if you have a pencil in your hand or are tapping away at a computer. They don't know how much you need peace to think.
The lockdown has eased for most of us, but this might have meant more disruption rather than a return to the way you used to live, especially with current uncertainties about new restrictions and second waves. All you can do is let the broken thoughts go, and if the interruptions for trivialities continue, despite your patient explanation that you're going to be working for the next hour, consider doing what Freddy did. After Mrs. Honeychurch has distracted him thoroughly from his book, he begins interrupting her letter-writing by thinking aloud, until she says: 'Don't interrupt so foolishly. Where was I?' She took the words right out of my mouth.