Five Writing Distractions (and how I manage them)

Having written about my plans earlier this week, I though it might be rather prescient to visit the things that might get in the way of my well-meant intentions. Yes, I’m talking about distractions…

… or in other words procrastination dressed up in a cloak of excuses. I’m an expert at this, years of developing the skill to just go off on a tangent. So it helps if you know what things distract you, right? Then you can prevent them from having their way. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Hmm…*rubs chin thoughtfully*

  1. Animals: Three dogs, six cats and three chickens. They’re not such a big thing really, I see them as family, as my substitute children if you like. The cats are the worst, particularly Simba who just loves to lie across the keyboard when he’s had enough. A tummy tickle and supper usually sorts that out.  And dog walking is good for my sanity and a place where I usually sort out some writing related issue that’s bugging me, so I just build in some time during the day.
  2. Household Chores:  I hate cleaning but I find myself washing, drying up breakfast pots, sweeping through (there is an awful lot dog hair), squinting through dirty windows, thinking about meal plans. It doesn’t last for long usually as another distraction comes along.
  3. Social Media: Facebook particularly,  I try and convince myself it is writing related, very loosely. An hour can disappear like a whiff of smoke if I’m not careful. I’m also a big fan of Pinterest, where I could lose myself totally. This week, I’m making a special effort not to look at things before I’ve done what’s on my to-do list. Can’t say that I haven’t strayed.
  4. Shopping: Well not in the real sense of the term, I hardly ever go out to shop, apart from for food. I mean window shopping on-line. Usually Amazon (where I also check if I’ve had any new reviews on my book). My basket fills up and then empties just as quick until I feel satisfied that I don’t really need said items. This is a hard one to manage, because it has a kind of double function but as long as I don’t actually spend anything – woops! I just pressed the ‘buy now’ button my mistake.
  5. Self Doubt: Definitely the hardest distraction to manage. I  tell myself I’m not good enough, I have no right to call myself a writer, that I should be doing a ‘proper job’. Writing in my Morning Pages first thing helps with this. I’ve been doing it almost every day for more than two years now. I just write out the angst, brush myself down and get on with the business.

So what about your distractions? Are they welcome ones and can you keep them in control?

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