Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Distractions

X-posted from the Evo Blog.

They come in all forms, do they not? Someone asked me recently how I could work full time and schedule as many books as I do. I didn't go into detail because everyone is different and we keep different hours. But here is the break down:

I don't sleep much. I don't eat much (I forget and when I don't, I eat while I work).
I don't answer the phone when I write.
I don't answer the door when I write.
I don't watch television or listen to the radio when I write.
I don't think too much about writing, I just write. Revising can come later and you cannot revise what is not yet on the page.
I keep a calendar with alerts.
I have a drink near me and have taken care of other physical needs already.
I don't play on the Internet or read emails during writing time.
I don't have others in my space and this affords me the lack of distractions of family in my way that others might have.

If I do it any other way, I'll never get my work finished. It just wouldn't be possible. Distractions are going to happen. You can limit the outside influences like phones and Internet. It becomes a little less easy when they are internal. My biggest distraction of that type is my internal editor. The little voice wants me to slow down and pick a precise image, or study the scene in my head to get just the right nuance. She can be a picky bitch. She's one I constantly must quiet in order to get words down. She can come back out when I read through and tighten and rework the words on the page.

Distractions happen. Disciplining yourself to ignore them may be a difficult and tedious process but ultimately you are in charge. The tantrum-throwing inner child will whine and complain and tell you she will do it later or catch up later, but you govern your actions. Do you want to be published? Do you want a contract? Do you want to get your stories down and write? Do you want to get paid?

Stop making excuses. Stop standing in your own way and get it done. No one can do it for you. Every word written is one word more than you had before. Take it as encouragement and get to work.

2 comments:

Amber Skyze said...

Well said. Cheers to you for not allowing all those distractions in. I think that's why I write at 4am. No one is awake to disturb me.

Julia Barrett said...

So now I know how you do it. I have all the details. Thanks! My ADD is the biggest distraction of all. If I'm home working, the quiet distracts me. I've always done better working in a noisy public space - even in college I could never study in the library - too quiet. I had to go to a coffee shop or a bar. I need noise to concentrate against. My kids are the same way. Welcome to my world! LOL!