Research as a Distraction?
You bet. Big distraction. Surfing for information on the web is downright fun. A person learns all kinds of things on the web. Don’t know how we ever managed without it before. If the feds ever confiscate my computer, they’ll call me in for questioning for–who knows what? Did you know you can even look up YouTube soundtracks for what a specific caliber and type of gun shot sounds like?
“The facts ma’am, just the facts.”
Okay, so writer’s deal with distractions every time they sit down to the computer, or paper and pen. If they manage to sit down to the computer at all before they get distracted with something else. However, I’m inclined to believe this is even more true of those of us who have to keep a day job. Though I’m sure we don’t have the exclusive on the issue.
Voices in Our Heads
One big problem is those gosh darn, pesky voices in our heads always telling us we have so much else to do. There isn’t time to write. You’ve got laundry, dishes, house cleaning. You’re supposed to call the insurance man, the mechanic, the roofer. Then there’s the voices that lay the guilt trip on you for not visiting your mother, or calling your daughter who lives thousands of miles away. Every free moment is not a writing moment. You’re a grown up, you don’t have time for pretend. As the voices get louder, they crowd out your concentration and time slips away once again.
And then there are those other voices. Yeah, we all know those voices. The ones that harass us. “Who do you think you’re fooling? You can’t write. Have you read this stuff? Total crap girl!”
All that chatter in the head can immobilize a person. Keep them down emotionally. It’s distracting, seriously. We need to shut them down, I know. I’m told meditation, yoga and deep breathing help. Okay, just let me set aside more time.
Distractions Come in All Kinds of Electronic Forms
The worst distraction in a writer’s world, however? The television. Dead time for sure. Nothing kills the minutes and hours like the big bright screen in the living room, or wherever yours resides. It has a lure all its own when you get home from work tired and strung out and just want to crash. Interesting, we use the image of a horrible, deadly event to refer to time spent zoning out in front of the boob tube. Revealing, isn’t it?
Create New Habits
Great advice from my book editor/mentor/coach, Demi Stevens of http://www.yotbpress.com, yesterday. It’s about the little habits. Like water running over rocks slowly shapes and move them. Take baby steps, change one habit at a time. Don’t turn on the TV one night a week. Or set aside fifteen minutes to write before you do those other things, and just keep punching it out a little at a time. Create a new habit and keep the work flowing.
On that note, I have to get back to writing. The second book in the Porter’s Hollow story is due out this fall.
Keep reading and I’ll keep writing!