Sunday, November 30, 2008

Destructive Writing Distractions

I have always had to-lists. It's a scatterbrain coping mechanism. It helps keep me focused. Everything must be checked off the list before I can go to sleep at night. Sometimes I can fudge and start tomorrow's list with things left over from the day before (I'm not OCD -really!). But most often, I just finish the list.

My writing is like this too. I don't have written lists, but I do have little rituals. As soon as I sit in my chair I check email. Next, I skim the Verla Kay boards for anything new since the last time I looked. It doesn't take long. Usually, no more than an hour or so has passed since the last time I looked. I check my blog to see who has stopped by. And finally, I open the Visual Thesaurus I have booked marked on the computer to use as a writing reference (great site BTW). At this point I am ready to write.

Lately I've added another little ritual to my writing routine. This one, however, has turned out to be a problem. I hate to admit it, but I've started playing games on the computer. The shame! I think I will simply play 10 minutes, just for fun. When I'm done, I'll get right back to writing. Except 10 minutes turns into 30, then 60. Before I know it, my writing time is wasted and I've accomplished nothing. My daily to-do list isn't completed, and I have to push writing to the next day.

Today, I'm deleting the game I downloaded. It's become a destructive distraction - an excuse for not finishing a WIP. Time to get back to business!

What are your distractions?

8 comments:

Rena said...

My distractions are message boards and the news. Well, in addition to having a husband, 4 kids, 2 cats, a full time homeschool schedule and the house to take care of. I would love a day all to myself just to write. Knowing me, I'd probably spend it on iTunes or some other time wasting site.

Frustrating, isn't it? ;)

Brenda said...

I use to think playing word games would keep my mind sharp and get it ready to write...but like you found out...the day is gone before I realize it and no writing has been done...

I find when I am in a writing course, or doing something like NaNo that is the best thing for me because it gives me deadlines and I tend to make the time to complete them...on my own, I would play games all day or visit blogs or Blueboards or I just have to see that movie on t.v. just one more time in case I missed something the first 100 times...grin...

Yes, it is too many distractions out there...sigh... ;)

Nora MacFarlane said...

It's strange, but I write best and get my best ideas when I have OTHER deadlines. Company's coming and I have to clean the house. Conferences are coming and I have 25 written education plans to finish. Maybe it's a reverse avoidance technique? I've quit trying to figure it out!

Rena said...

Nora -- I'm just like that too. I get inspired to do something the most when I'm supposed to be doing something else. My husband always comes in and says, "You're doing that NOW?" LOL!

Linda D. (sbk) said...

I'm a total SIMS-aholic. I had to completely give up the game because once I start playing, I'm gone for a good 2 full weeks. It's really really bad. ANd my kids miss me and beg to be fed. Um, yeah, so no SIMS for me.

Kim Kasch said...

My favorite form of procrastination is blogging and commenting on other's blogs ;-)

Nora MacFarlane said...

Kim - me too!

Brenda said...

Happy Holidays Nora...

I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a Honest Scrap Award on my blog...hugs...