I sat down at my desk to work on the fourth Amoveo novel last night and I was once again knocked off course by the distraction devil. What’s the deal? Writing time is precious. I know this. Yet I still have days when I find myself driven to distraction. In an effort to try and curtail future outbreaks, I thought it would be a good idea to identify exactly what was distracting me. I figured that if I identified the problem, then I’d recognize it for what it is and get back to business.
1. The Internet/Facebook/Twitter: “Just one quick look around.” HAH! Famous last words. How many of us have said that only to get sucked in by the latest kitten video or True Blood preview? Me too. I realize that not going on the Internet is not realistic, so I now have an egg timer on my desk and give myself 10 minutes. When the buzzer goes off…I go offline and get back to work.
2.My Kids: Let’s face it…the- don’t-interrupt-me-unless-it’s-bleeding-or-falling-off-rule only works for so long. I make sure everyone is fed, told me about their day, bathed and has completed their homework before diving into my manuscripts. It minimizes potential interruption….but doesn’t neutralize it completely because with a house full of boys food is always at the forefront of their minds.
3. Music: I use it to spark my muse but if it’s left on too long it becomes a distraction. *See egg timer rule*
4. The Next Book: I get ideas for the next book in the series while writing the one prior. This is usually great but sometimes that future plotting can get in the way of the story at hand. I now keep a notebook next to me to write down potential ideas and that helps me get it out of my head and out of the way….for now.
5. Exhaustion: Since I began this journey of publication almost four years ago (can’t believe it’s been that long) I’ve been holding down a full-time job. Writing has almost always had to occur late at night or early in the morning which often means I’m fried. I find that if I’m physically or mentally exhausted…the muse has passed out in a corner somewhere and she’s not interested in coming out. At first, I would push myself to go-go-go but I’ve learned three things. #1…Anything I write in that state will be crap. #2…Tomorrow is another day. #3… It’s okay to close the laptop, chill out with the family and give myself a break.