Distractions are like Starbucks stores. They are EVERYWHERE! Practically on every corner. Sometimes two on the same block. All comforting and inviting with their warm, intoxicating aromas and soft couches and free wifi. And you think, why not? I deserve a venti pumpkin spice latte (you know they’re coming…) It's almost fall and I'm tired. And it's my only free hour before I pick up the kids. And it's right here. And… what was I saying?
Oh right, distractions.
With summer winding down and school about to start and soccer practice twice a week and a new job, (insert: any LIFE events here)…all semblance of a routine, let alone sanity, is out the window. New schedules, new stress. And less time to write. Less time for sitting down for any chunk of time to edit, plot or even just stare out the window and live inside my characters’ worlds for an uninterrupted moment of time.
And even if I do manage to sit down while the kids are taking a nap, it is SOOOOOOO hard not to immediately jump on fb, twitter, blogs I haven’t read in a while, the library webpage to see what anxiously awaited books I have on hold, or all the other things that I have to do first. Or to just kick back and read said books with a cup of coffee instead. Ooh, OR watch True Blood because it’s almost the season finale and I’m 3 episodes behind and it’s not like I can watch it when the littles are awake…
These things? They are called distractions. And they suck. They suck you away from your goal. And they suck because they are just so deliciously, deviously...well, distracting.
Writing requires DISCIPLINE and a lot of it. But writing should be fun, you say, and easy. Not a chore. Well sure, it should be. But that doesn’t mean it always is. Sometimes there is no motivation, no direction, no inspiration. Sometimes it is really, really hard to sit down and actually have words come. Sometimes you just have no time.
You have to make the time. Remove the distractions. Find a quiet place that works. Turn off the internet (I’m told they have programs for this…or maybe support groups). Pay for a babysitter. Go somewhere else if chores or the TV will catch your eye. Listen to music or don’t. Wake up early or work after the kids go to bed. Do whatever it takes!
I know what distracts me and I know that I have to actually work to not allow them to creep in and steal the short window of time I have to focus. And sometimes I need help to do it. Whether it’s my incredibly supportive husband, handling bed time on his own or my children understanding that mommy needs just a few more minutes to finish a thought before we keep playing. Maybe someone could bring me coffee so I won't have a moment of weakness and be drawn in to the nearest Starbucks down the block. (Is coffee delivery a thing?)
Whatever it is, I know that I need to write. Every day. Even if it's bad. Even if it's only 140 characters. And to be successful with that, I have to remove the distractions.
What distracts you from writing?? How do you work around it?