#Openbook – My top three distractions while writing   Leave a comment

Roberta Writes

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This week the topic is:

What are your top three distractions and how do you deal with them?

I saw the blog hop topic this morning and I have spent the day thinking about it on and off. I have come to the conclusion that I am not easily distracted from what I want to do and I get frustrated when I have to spend time doing things that I consider unimportant and trivial in the pursuit of my goals, both personal and for work.

There are things that must be done before I can write such as working at my day job [and full weekend end job in respect of this one just past], seeing to my sons and making sure they have food, drink and get their homework done [to my standards], spending time with my parents, especially my mom, my aunt and my husband’s family and listening…

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Posted January 20, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Open Book Blog Hop – 20th January   1 comment

Stevie Turner

This week the topic is:

What are your top three distractions and how do you deal with them?

First:

As an author, the first and main distraction is social media.  Unless I work offline, then I tend to check Twitter, WordPress, BookFunnel, ACX, Amazon, Goodreads, KDP, MeWe and my email notifications as they come in.  Fortunately these days I don’t have to check Facebook or LinkedIn as I deleted them, but social media is a serious distraction and time suck if authors are trying to write a novel.

Social media creeps up on you like a convolvulous vine and entwines itself around your very being if you let it.  You start off with one site, then feel obliged to register for more sites because you read online that authors must jump up high to be seen above everybody else, and the only way to do that is to be active…

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Posted January 20, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Distracted? Who Me? #OpenBook Blog Hop   Leave a comment

Source: Distracted? Who Me? #OpenBook Blog Hop

Posted January 20, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Distracted? Who Me? #OpenBook Blog Hop   Leave a comment

Source: Distracted? Who Me? #OpenBook Blog Hop

Posted January 20, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Author Interrupted – Dealing with Distractions   Leave a comment

Lyndell Williams

20200120_081547_0000#openbook

What are your top three distractions and how do you deal with them?
Note: I am writing this post on the road. Please forgive any typos.

A writer’s life is full of all kinds of distractions, which can make finding the time to develop ideas and getting out of one’s head and onto paper (or the screen) difficult. I have mentioned that time management can be an external factor hindering writing.

Damn those twenty-four hours in a day. They just won’t listen and become more. Authors have professional (novel writing is not the main source of income for most) and personal lives, each demanding energy and time. Finding sufficient time to develop a plot, construct character arcs and write content can be difficult.  One cruel irony is that creative often burgeons when there is no time. Authors scramble to find a moment to weave a story, but frustration usually…

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Posted January 20, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Blog Hopping. Distraction and me, the things that stop me writing.   Leave a comment

Richard’s Top Distractions

Posted January 20, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Sparkly Objects All Around   5 comments

January 20, 2020

What are your top three distractions and how do you deal with them?

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Life is Distracting

Life is incredibly distracting. There’s the kids, the spouse, the house, the pets, the Internet, the phone, Netflix, Hulu, my friends, my siblings, books, church, the gym, summer, the furnace, making dinner, my friends at Bible study, the woodstove, the houseplants, my coworkers, the news, the Democratic debates, Trump’s antics, the hysteria of both Democrats and Trump supporters, Facebook, Twitter, Austrian economics, Medium, You-Tube, Word Press, my husband’s company, my father-in-law, my-mother-in-law, (occasionally) my brother and my recently-discovered sister, Ancestry.com, the neighbors … yeah, I could go on and on.

Yup, it might be easier to say what isn’t a distraction these days. We live in the Age of Distraction. We’re constantly trying to amuse ourselves. Amuse – a (meaning “none) + muse (meaning “thinking”) = no thinking. We are surrounded by things of less-value that constantly try to distract us from things of greater value.

And I’m trying to publish two novels this year. Yeah, I don’t need distractions in 2020 and I definitely can’t be a-musing. Writers need to think. I need to think. I need to get into the head of my characters and bring forth their stories.

My Big Three

The OP asks for three top distractions. Selecting from hundreds wasn’t easy, but here we go.

  • My husband
  • The news
  • Social media

Husbands – Am I Interrupting You?

I used to be able to say kids, but our 27-year-old daughter is a gypsy musician traveling the Lower 48 and our 21-year-old son, while he lives at home, is a quiet person whose most distracting behavior is playing guitar in his room (he’s actually getting quite good).

I love my husband Brad and he is very supportive of my writing, but sometimes he can’t seem to understand that there are times when, in order for me to get an idea from my brain through my fingers to the electronic page, I need him to SHUT THE HECK UP.

I’m really good with distraction. I grew up in small Alaska houses where everybody lived in one room, television blaring, conversations swirling, and you retreated to your bedroom only for bed (or algebra. I never could do algebra, carry on a conversation, and watch television all at the same time). I’m really good at screening out distractions. I can write while watching television, while the neighbor is mowing his lawn, while the kids were jumping around in the living room or while the dog chased her stuffed animal across the carpet. I really am good with distractions.

Except when I’m not. Sometimes, there’s just thoughts, turns of phrases or descriptions that I really need to concentrate on to write it the way I want. And Brad is really, really, REALLY good at interrupting my thought-flow right when I don’t need him to.

He means well. Last night it was a simply question –

  • Brad – “Do you want tea?”
  • Me – “Yes.”
  • Brad – “What kind of tea?”
  • Me – “Doesn’t matter.”
  • Brad – “But there’s four different kinds here. Do you want the Bengal Spice, the Cranberry Vanilla Wonderland, the Orange Spice, or the Apple Cinnamon?”
  • Me – “You’re interrupting my thoughts.”
  • Brad – “It’ll just take a moment.”
  • Me – (The image is fading. No, come back.) “How about you make the decision and let me think?
  • Brad – “So you don’t want tea?”
  • Me – (Urrggghhhh!) “No, never mind. Let’s now have a conversation since the thought I was trying to capture just ran off to the Delta Glacier, never to be seen again. Yes, make me tea, I want the Bengal Spice, and let me close my laptop since I’m going to get nothing else of worth accomplished tonight.”

Brad and I just celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary. We’ve been making tea for each other for 35 years. He KNOWS what tea I like and that I stop drinking caffeine after 7 pm. He also knows that he could give me any of those four flavors and I’d be good with his choice. Heck, he’s given me just hot water before and I didn’t complain – scarcely noticed if I was chasing a powerful image out of my mind onto the page. But, yeah, at least once a week, he is a major distraction.

News

Say what you will about the times we live in – the news is hyperbolic. It’s been going on for a while now. Clinton (Bill, with Hillary as the wind beneath his wings) was going to destroy America. Bush 2 was going to destroy the world. Obama was destroying the middle class. Trump is going to implode the galaxy.

I studied to be a journalist and worked for a couple of years at our hometown newspaper, so I have an interest in the news. When we had cable television, the news was on a lot. Then we cut the cord and now the news is only on if we go looking for it on You-Tube. But my god, you could get so caught up in it all — watching Nancy Pelosi try to stage a coup and Trump try to avoid the knife and the 357 Democratic candidates try to throw each under the bus, while the CNN anchors turn blue waiting for World War 3 to break out while freaking out over Trump’s latest twitter storm and whether Bernie is a sexist or if the statements his Iowa field supervisor made on tape are a sign that at least some in his organization want a Marxist regime. Thank God we only have You-Tube and not CNN, Fox, MSNBC, PBS, and BBC.

I don’t watch the news all that often anymore. I do scan Reuters and our local newspaper daily and there are a few libertarian analysis sites I go to more than once a week, but for the most part, I don’t hang on every moment of the news because — DISTRACTING.

But Brad does like to catch some news programs on You-Tube. Remember what I said about being really good with distraction. That doesn’t bother me. I can watch a news program while writing a book – usually. Except he sometimes wants to talk about it and he figures his wife — former journalist with a political science minor — probably would like to weigh in. After all, I do know something about the topic — more than the average viewer. I show that when I write Transformation Project. So why don’t I watch the program?

Well, sometimes I am writing a story that has nothing to do with political science. The YA I’m writing currently has a main character who knows nothing about politics and doesn’t want to. That is so appropriate for a 17-year-old!

I began publishing Transformation Project before Donald Trump became president. I never really saw that coming, so I have to constantly remind myself that he’s not part of the mythology. The deceased President Dotson is based on a Michael Bloomberg-like character with a dash of Richard Nixon thrown in. It’s hard to keep Trump out of Transformation Project when Brad is watching the Milwaukee Keep America Great Rally on You-Tube. Then he cuts to the protesters and counter-protesters outside and pretty soon, I’m not writing, I’m watching and so long as I leave Trump out of it, I can get some great ideas about how people act stupidly when they come to believe the pageantry of the elected nobility matters in real life, but ultimately, I am distracted from writing.

It’s a Village at Your Fingertips

Social media is a great societal good and an immense societal disaster. It’s insta-community and I have over 800 followers. At least 50 of them weigh in regularly to my discussion openers on Facebook. I enjoy doing them and I often get attitudes that are reflected by characters within Transformation Project. Sometimes phrases even work their way in. It’s a great source for inspiration.

And a massive time-suck.

If I let it be. I have easily wasted weekend afternoons that were prime writing time discussing topics that I already have plenty of source material for. People ask you questions, they wish you happy birthday, they post their own stuff and I want to respond … Distracting!

How Do I Deal With It?

Life is about accommodations. If you’ve got a family, you’re blessed. You can’t just leave them to go live on a mountaintop where you can write without interruptions. You shouldn’t desire to do so. Brad interrupts me and sometimes I’m frustrated by that. I remind myself that he can’t read my mind and sometimes his distracting behaviors are because he’s lonely. That will happen to author widowers. I sometimes need to set aside a project for an evening so we can spend time together. I also try to encourage him to pursue his own hobbies when my muse is throwing fast balls and most of the time that works.

Shutting out the world is impossible and probably not helpful in the long run. Brad has a shtick about someone we know who never pays attention to the news emerging from his cave to discover the zombie apocalypse has occurred and he was utterly unaware of it and completely unprepared. Paying at least some attention to the world outside of my writing is a good thing and it makes my coworkers less nervous that I might walk in front of cars while I daydream. But really, unplugging is not a bad thing either. Most people today are WAY too attached to the whole Trump-is-going-to-implode-the-galaxy back-and-forth hysteria. Go do something else and stop freaking out. It’ll resolve itself — and, hint, neither side is particularly right at the moment and perhaps we ought to be more concerned about what they’re trying to distract us from.

Social media – yeah, where the freak-out is really occurring. Yes, I use it for research. Am I on it too much? Probably. Can I let it go? Not entirely. But I also don’t take it as seriously as some of my commenters tend to take it. I also don’t need to “win” the debate. I will keep dealing in principles and making points and letting people be wrong if they want to be wrong. And, even people who I mostly agree with are sometimes wrong. I’m sure they know that experience too.

I relax my grip and don’t sweat stuff I don’t control. And, that’s how I deal with it.

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