“Work is hard. Distractions are plentiful. And time is short.”
~ Adam Hochschild
I have come to realize and accept the fact that writing completely without distractions is essentially impossible. From the television, to social media, and just life in general, distractions are just a part of anyone’s career path. I’ve also discovered that there are in fact some distractions that are not really a distraction, simply background material for you next story, or inspiration for your next article. When writers go to coffee shops to get some work done, most people would wonder how that is conducive to one’s writing because there is so much noise and so many different conversations going on at the same time around you. What non-writers fail to realize is that those multiple conversations can work their way in to so much of your stories or inspire new one’s.
Those aren’t the distractions that hinder me when it comes to my productivity. One of the biggest distractions that can be my downfall, yet can also be my inspiration, is the television. I try to escape it but there’s always something on it that intrigues me and gets the wheels in my mind turning and thinking of other ideas. Now this would be good if I was struggling with coming up with ideas but the problem is I have way too many ideas. But if I turn the television off then the complete silence becomes an even bigger distraction than the TV itself.
I guess a writer can never really get away from their distractions completely. There are many ways that they could probably limit or eliminate them in an effort to become more productive but maybe the key is in figuring out how to make the distractions work for you. I haven’t quite mastered that part yet but I am working on it everyday. I did manage to come up with a small list of a few things that hopefully will enable those writers who are having the same struggles with distractions that I’m having:
- Write By Hand- This enables you to get away from the computer completely, and all of the distractions that the computer holds. Also having to actually write out your words allows you to examine them as you go along and sometimes the words flow easier.
- Turn off the Phone- No one can help but to look at their phone when it rings or when you get a text message and of course if you look at the phone when it rings then you are most likely going to answer it. To avoid this timely distraction turn the cell phone off for the amount of your time that you decide to write.
- Close out the window with the Internet- If you absolutely can not see yourself writing long-hand and must use the computer then be sure to close all other windows besides the one with your project. While you are typing out your story, or whatever project you are working on, have no other screen up or minimized waiting on you to click on. If you can see the other window (even minimized) you will want to click on it. It almost sounds too simple but it really works!
- Write every Morning- Getting up an hour earlier in the morning allows you time when the rest of the world, and your household, is still sleep and you can have complete concentration on your work before your day even really gets started. Now this one is hard for me to do but I think I am even going to put more effort into making this one work for me.
- Find your Place- Now some writers have certain places where they have to write. They literally can not write anything if they are not in their special writing place. So if there is a place that the words just flow easier and naturally then that’s where you should probably try to write all of the time. I believe I am one of those writers but economically it just isn’t possible for me to go where I need to go everyday to write.
If any of you writer’s out there has any tips and ideas on how I, or any other writer with this same problem, can minimize their distractions, or make them work for them, please feel free to share. Until next time…I will be busy fighting off my current distraction, the TV!
The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)
Writing as “Jaycee Durant”