Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D is for Distractions

Look a shiny!

The reason I chose Distraction for my D post is simple: I am easily distracted. Very easily. It will probably take me almost an hour to write this post because I'll get distracted a few times with other web pages and who knows what else. Like a drink, I need a drink...

Distractions can be many sizes, some are useful and others are not. I used to use slight distractions all the time to keep from over-focusing, which would lead to headaches. Which is why I got away with watching television while doing my math homework. It really did help because I would spends hours upon hours doing homework, even on problems that I discovered later in class could not be solved. So, I needed the sound to give a slight distraction.

I do this sometimes with writing too. Music is my favorite method of slight distraction. To the point where I try to create music playlists for every one of my novels. It helps me when I'm writing. Sometimes I'll watch/listen to television as well, but music is better if I want to be really productive with writing.

Another distraction that can have good outcomes, though now always, is that of the shiny new idea. I've posted about this before as it is something I face often. Just two days ago I was emailing my "alpha" about a new idea I have. It can be hard not to leave a work in progress for a new idea and sometimes it can be a good time to move on but be wary of it.

Bigger distractions like family, friends, school, work and life in general can hinder writing progress. But it happens sometimes. The trick is finding a way to either cope with taking time away from writing or a way to work out a new schedule to get in more writing time. All kinds of options can exist if you search for them.

Do you ever get distracted?
Is there a shiny near you?


Francine Howarth said...


Know how you feel on distractions!

A-Z has been a major distraction and I've decided to pull out. My latest WIP has suffered, I have revisions supposedly on the go, and neither have moved forward since day one of A-Z. I'm a novelist, my blog for funtime and the A-Z had turned it into a chore! I hate chores! ;)


Angeline said...

I probably get distracted about 60 times an hour! Trouble is, I have a terrible memory and often forget what I was doing before the distraction. As a result, my long-suffering husband keeps finding half-done things around the house (like cold toast in the toaster that I put in hours before!)

salarsenッ said...

Hah...I have four children. Life is a major distraction when it comes to writing. My crazy thoughts are usually pretty distracting, too. I definitely feel your pain. lol

Liz P said...

I let myself get distracted - not a good habit. In general, work and adjusting to life with a dog has been the two biggest distractors. On a smaller level, I tend to let the internet distract me while I'm writing.

I really need to set a specific writing schedule and stick to it. And turn off WiFi...

Cheree said...

Mmm, distraction. Well, this is actually a distraction. There's blogging, checking emails, facebook, and well, the internet in general is a very big distraction. I definitely understand.

Angela Felsted said...

I get distracted ALL THE TIME. And will often stop writing a story to check email or go on facebook if I'm frustrated with a particular spot.

Loralie Hall said...

Hehe, I'm big on the distractions. I guess I always have been. I like music when I'm writing and working and can't actually get into a deep focused state without the right kind of background noise.

Distractions rule...unless there's to many :-D

allison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
allison said...

I procrastinate until I can't anymore, and then I get ready to work and then pick a song, and then that makes me think of another song I HAVE to hear, and then I forgot to pack my lunch, and then...

Huh? What was I talking about?

- allison writes

Laura Josephsen said...

I'm easily distracted by the internet when I'm trying to write. >_>

Once upon a time (before I'd written my first novel) I used to get distracted by shiny new plots. I'd be bored with what I was currently writing, and then jump ship to another plot. That doesn't happen anymore, because I've learned to finish what I start. If I'm sure I'm going to write a novel, I plan and then go into it, and have friends who tell me "Commit!" when I get lost in the middle and I'm floundering. So I do. ;)

M.J. Fifield said...

Distractions? I don't know what you're talking about. I never get- Oh hey look...what's what over there?- distracted.

I create playlists for all my novels too. That's how I know I'm getting serious about a project. I start putting together a soundtrack for it.

M.J. Fifield
My Pet Blog

Manzanita said...

So true. The phone is my big distraction. A jarring ring when your are concentrating will erase your thoughts.
Wanna buy a duck

Elizabeth Mueller said...

ooh, distraction should be my middle name. I have to have absolute silence while a novel is in the making. I don't like alienating myself from my family, that's why I do it while they are in bed or at school ;)

♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

Sarah Allan said...

There is ALWAYS a shiny nearby for me, and it's called the internet. I read a quote somewhere that was something like "Being a good writer is 3% talent, and 97% not being distracted by the internet." That's me in a nutshell. My cats and house things are also pretty distracting (I have a grey one who looked just like that pic you posted when she was a kitten). So, I started taking my lappie and writing materials to the library. The change in scenery helped a great deal, and even though they have free WiFi, I can avoid a lot of the internet surfing temptation and get to what I should be doing. :-D

xoxo Sarah

Giggle, Laugh, Cry said...

I'm a fan of distraction. Lists are the only thing that keep me on track I think.
I stopped by as part of the A-Z Challenge!

Dawn Embers said...

F - Blogging can be a distraction and trying to comment on the great blogs taking part in the challenge is part of it. I should work more on my novels too. Understand the need to back out and hope your novel goes well.

Angeline - That is a lot of times to get distracted in one hour. lol... I have memory issues too and often forget what I was doing before I became distracted.

Salarsen - Ahh, kids. Crazy thoughts can be a fun distraction but they can get in the way at times.

Liz P - Pets can be distracting and then of course there is the internet. I spend way too much time on the internet not writing in my novels yet I use the internet to write and store them so I never turn it off.

Cheree - True, this is a distraction but a fun one. I probably should have mentioned the trouble le Internet causes in the scheme of things.

Angela Felsted - Good to see I'm not the only one. Though I rarely go on facebook, but twitter and blogs take up my time.

Loralie - *waves hi* Background noise can be useful. Now we need to plan posts for D and E, which is a distraction from novels. lol

Dawn Embers said...

allison - hehehe. I am a big time procrastinator. I did it all through college and always managed to make it in the last minutes.

Laura Josephsen - that's good of you to be able to finish without getting distracted. I struggle with working on a single novel at a time but I still try to be better about finishing them instead of stopping half way.

M.J. Fifield - lol. Playlists are awesome but the creating them at the beginning can be a big distraction trying to find the right questions.

manzanita - The phone would be distracting. Good thing I rarely get any phone calls.

Elizabeth Mueller - haha. That would be an interesting middle name. I couldn't do it with silence but we can't all be the same. ;-)

Sarah Allan - That is a good idea for a quote. The internet is very distracting and cats when they want your attention don't like hearing no. That and I never have the heart to move them if they get in the way cause they are so cuddly cute.

Giggle, Laugh, Cry - Lists can be useful. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

J. D. Brown said...

Dang, I can't listen to music or watch TV when I write. I have to be 100% in the story or a get nothing done.

baygirl32 said...

I came to comment on yout blog, but got distracted. Oh look a rooster...

stopping in from the A to Z

Áine Tierney said...

Your singing to the choir! I'm a procrastinator as well as easily being distracted!

Michelle Gregory said...

the pull of a shiny new story always distracts me.

Dawn Embers said...

J.D. - I know your characters. They probably are loud enough and distracting in their own ways. ;-)

babygirl32 - lol. It's okay, be distracted by the rooster. JJ was awesome enough to get the image from our reading blog template so we could promote the blog.

Aine Tierney - :-D Procrastinators and Distracted People unite!

Michelle Gregory - It is very tempting, isn't it? Thanks for commenting on my post.

Anonymous said...

If we want to procrastinate, we can find anything to distract us!

Good post.
Ann Carbine Best’s Long Journey Home

L'Aussie said...

Hi Dawn. Yes, as Francine has said, this challenge is a major distraction from our writing life, but it has positives in that we hook up with some new people. It is just one major distraction amongst a sea of distractions.

Thanks for travelling to Darfur with me. Someone has actually guessed right for E is for...

Geech, I hope it's not my book review this week. I've been too distracted to write one.


L'Aussies Travel Blog A - Z Challenge - D is for Darfur

Dawn Embers said...

Ann Best - that is very true. If I want distraction I can easily find it.

Denise - Very true. Wow, someone guessed right? That's cool. Don't worry, it was JJ's week. You are next week. ;-)

Donna Hole said...

I doubt I could write without distracting myself frequently. Well, maybe I could be more productive . .

I love music for distractions.


SharleneT said...

At my age, standing up distracts me! I'm going to create a bracelet with Dry-Erase to make a note of why I stood up! What a great blog.

Hello from a fellow A-Z Challenger! Isn't this fun?

Come visit either of my blogs when you can and leave some comment love:

E is for Egg - Edible, Eternal, Expressive

http://rockinchairreflections.blogspot.com (A-Z)
Twitter: @SolarChief

Dawn Embers said...

Donna Hole - Could be more productive but would it be as fun? Have to wonder. Music is a great distraction.

SharleneT - That is an awesome idea because I'm already super forgetful and I'm not even 30 yet. Thanks for stopping by at my blog.