Thursday, May 19, 2011

Aspiring Advice: The Distraction Faction

Up next for Managing May is a topic that's sure to scorch a hole through my conscience more than anything. If you happen to experience a similar . . . experience, I'm responsible for 1st degree burns or less. Grab ointment.

It all stems on a personal matter, the constant battle of what I could be doing vs. what I should be doing. Our world is loaded with little gadgets and doohickeys, both fun and pertinent, but for the world of the writer, they can be a horrible vice without discipline on your side. They can deter us into disaster (career or otherwise).

Instead of making a list of dos and don'ts, I invite you to look into your interests, make a list of all the little things you love to do, all the online accounts you have, then ask yourself, how much writing could I really get done? You'd be surprised how much time can be wasted on little things that will keep your book inside your head.

Imagine what would happen if a legendary hero got distracted (you may want to stop at 2:10, for the kids).

Because I fall into this trap, here's my distractions:

Blogging. Movies. PC games. Movie news. Facebook. Movies. Books. Writing and reading movie reviews.  Youtube. Email. More movies. Following blogs. Etc.

This is not the rule, just my thoughts on the matter. Distractions aren't all bad. They can be healthy, but too much of anything can deter you from accomplishing the goals that truly matter the most. Make note of whats distracting you and set some limitations. Better yet, offer distractions as a reward for accomplishments.

What distracts you from your writing? What are some tricks that have helped you stay focused on your goals?

I'm David, and my WiP is about--SQUIRREL!


  1. Targets work for me. I have weekly targets for number of professional subs, word count (of subbed fiction) poems, and poems submitted.

    Sounds a bit restrictive, but it works for me. If I skip a month of targets, my output drops. I post them on my bog, under the cunning title of monthly word counts. I fill the targets in as I progress through the weeks.

    I don't know why it works, but it does.

  2. Sounds like my distractions: Facebook, blogging, napping, facebook, email, facebook, shopping, facebook....and then I of course need time for my family and house, or else I may get locked away for violating sanitation codes and neglecting my child.

    That is one of the reason's I decided to cut down on my blogging so I can use that time to write. If I don't write it, I won't get published.

  3. Gaming has been a huge distraction lately because it helps me multitask (visit with friends, unwind, and kill pixels). With finals around the corner I just had to start learning to say no and spending time away from the computer to get stuff done.

  4. I used to fuss over how many books people used to read and write until I remembered that a lot of authors began their careers before the advent of television, video games and the internet. In his book, "On Writing" Stephen King talks about how he considers himself to be in the last generation of writers who grew up in TV-free homes.

    There so many distractions these days to keep us away from our craft (even the computers we write on) that it's very difficult sometimes to want to get home from work and start typing.

    Good luck to everyone!

  5. I can so totally relate. I've fallen in love with the Freedom program. It gives me a set time where I have to do my writing, and I find I really get focused when I'm forced to.

  6. So much to distract! I get my best writing done when I go on writing weekends expressly for the purpose of burning through a WIP. Or I set aside time to work while the kids are out of the house.Otherwise I squeeze it in late at the urge comes around.
    But you have to resist the call of the internet while in writing mode!

  7. Hunting for a day job to support my addiction to writing is my biggest distraction right now.

    Regardless of my excuses, I can only blame myself for a lack of discipline in writing/editing my WIP.

    Sometimes, my own writing or creative muse gets in the way of finishing a current WIP. I write a blog, or work on a section of a new work, or just musing away in a fun writing project that requires little effort.

  8. The internet is my biggest distraction. I usually turn it off when I write! And I always designate a certain time as ONLY writing time. It seems to help.