As a wife, mother, fur-mother, full time employee, and a woman just trying to stay sane with everyday life, I sometimes have a hard time not allowing distractions to keep me from working on my book. I used to believe that this very blog was one of them. Why take the time to write about writing, when I could take that time and apply it to the (what feels like never-ending) revisions? Fortunately, I have come to realize that writing this blog, along with taking a break to write a short story, or perhaps work on the outlines for books two, three, four, and five (not a series, just different books I have outlined) is not taking away from my book. Any writing is good for the writers’ soul, and any writing will make my writing style better, subsequently making my books better.
When I talk about distractions I’m essentially talking about the not really important things, like for instance…playing with my make-believe restaurant, bakery, and zoo on my iPad. A genus invention the iPad is – and perhaps my biggest adversary. I would like to think that I use the games for a sense of calmness in my life. One of those little tasks…or tactics, to get five, ten, or even fifteen minutes a day where I don’t have to think about anything. A solace away from balancing checkbooks, dealing with account receivables and payables at work, or dealing with a five year old that wants everything on the planet the very second she hollers for it. I don’t have to think, I just make pretend food and serve it to the pretend people, and then I feed the pretend animals – so simple, so addicting, and unfortunately most likely a waste of my time.
Will I stop? Doubful. Did I mention it was addicting?
Another adversary is social media. While I do believe spending time on Facebook and Twitter are important to stay in contact with the writing world (and hopefully soon, fans) too much time is a big distraction, one I am guilty of. I will admit that every time I hit a wall or my brain hiccups and I lose my train of thought, I click on that letter “e” down at the bottom of my sidebar, and immediately go to Facebook. Nine times out of ten nothing is new – no new updates, no new pictures, and no new stories that my wonderful friends and family have shared.
But do I log off? Nope. I start to stalk. 506 pictures…don’t mind if I do!
If I don’t stalk, then I browse the Facebook Chat looking for friends and family to chat with, which is another distraction. Usually for me, I have three or more chats going at once – super fun, super distractive. Social media is not, at least I don’t think, considered the waste of time that my iPad games are, but even with that said, I know I need to learn to not jump to that little “e” button every time my brain has a hiccup.
Usually at 4am (when I do get up that early to write) I don’t have the distractions that I do at 1pm when I write on my lunch hour, which is a good thing. But that doesn’t negate the fact that my distractions get the better of me more than I care to admit, and I need to not only recognize the problem, but fix it. Now would be a good time…or at least starting tomorrow it will.