Are you like me with distractions? Do you get up every morning, or come to your computer every day, with writing in mind? And when you sit down to write, do you find that you are distracted by other things that take you away from the project you sat down to do?
I rationalize some of those distractions. I need to check email because someone may be in a faith crisis. Or an editor may need a rewrite. And while I’m there, might as well knock out those few emails that need answers. But then Google has a headline that is provocative and I just peek at it. For a while.
I have to look at Facebook because I don’t want to ignore looming situations in the lives of my friends. And those links—better at least “like” them. They are good, after all.
The weather and local news – well, how will I know what to wear without it? And what about road closures? Local hostage situations?
Just as one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so one writer’s distractions are another’s research. Sometimes I read articles about quirky things—why you should never try to recycle pizza boxes, for instance – and they turn into magazine article queries that turn into contracts.
But most of the time, I succumb to distractions. I am ambushed by my own wandering eyes; waylaid on the path to writing by just-one-more-look.
What do you do to combat distractions? I can give you a few things that work for me, when I have the self-discipline to implement them:
A kitchen timer. Makes me hurry through online tasks and prioritize them.
Closing my email client (and the little popup numbers and reminders) with a promise to myself to check them at noon and five p.m.
Screening phone calls (used to work; but since my husband is recuperating from GBS at home has so many therapists and others who come, I not only have to answer the phone, I have to answer him when I don’t answer the phone!)
So—NovelMatters readers, do tell. How do you trick yourself into not being distracted?