November 9, 2011


I’m one of those scatter-brained people who can never seem to get anything finished in a reasonable amount of time because of how distracted I get. Especially with chores. Halfway through folding a load of laundry… I need to go look up this really obscure fact right now. *drops towel and goes to computer* *opens browser* Now why did I come back here? *opens Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Blogger* *An hour later, husband comes in asking why I haven’t finished the laundry* Oh… I… umm… forgot?

I almost always have three or four projects going on at once, and I can’t focus on just one for very long. I get excited about it. I itch to work on it. And then I start, and about a third of the way through, I get another idea for a project. Then I want to work on it, but a third of the way through, another idea comes strolling into my head. For instance, earlier this week, I started a craft project. I bought all the materials I needed, and then some, and I sat down to work. And I haven’t touched it since Monday. Other things were more important, and now my sitting room is a disaster zone.

It’s easy to get distracted. What with 214 episodes of Stargate SG-1 to watch, a new season of Psych, Dungeons&Dragons every Wednesday, books to read, napping to do—so this is my list of distractions, but you can substitute your distractions of course. And then, there’s Twitter, Google+, and Facebook, an assortment of time-wasting websites, and not to mention those important things, like work and family. The world is full of distractions, luring us away from productivity.

Unfortunately, the world’s steady stream of distractions affects my writing, especially when I haven’t started yet. I’m still working on the outline for the sequel to The Clockwork Giant (read: haven’t touched it since Friday). Rather than work diligently, I’ve allowed myself to be distracted. In fact, I’ve sought out distractions so that I wouldn’t have to start working on it again. Hence the craft project. But, oh, it’s important. You see, I need to make Christmas presents for everyone, and well, Skyrim is coming out at the end of the week, and I don’t want to get started on my novel and then have to put it down, and I have to build encounters for tonight’s D&D session, and well… It’s a cycle of excuses and procrastination that never ends. Well, it does end, but only when I put my foot down.

Because I know that next week, after the Skyrim release, I’ll still make excuses. Oh, I’m in the middle of a quest. I can’t stop playing and write. Pfft. Or, OH MY GOD SKYRIM IS SO AWESOME I’M GOING TO DIE OF EPIC. The latter is more likely to be true. And I get that. I know that my productivity will be low this month. But that doesn’t mean I should just let everything else get in the way of my writing and stop productivity altogether. So my goal for today and tomorrow is to finish the outline for my novel. I can fight the distractions that long, at least.

Now, when I actually start writing the novel, there will be another slew of distractions to pull me away from my writing. Mostly Twitter. *shakes fist at Twitter*

So, what about you? What distracts you? What halts your productivity? Any tips for staying focused?


  1. What distracts me? Um...everything? To be honest, distraction is the second biggest hindrance to my writing. The first is lack of time. These days the two biggest distractions I'm struggling with (and losing to rather badly) are spaceship-drawing and editing. I actually don't feel bad about time spent editing because I LOVE editing and I'm helping other writers with their work. To be totally and completely honest: I really don't know which I enjoy more, writing my stuff or editing/critiquing others'.

    As for tips, your guess is as good as mine. :(

  2. Life offers up daily distractions like they are petit fours that must be eaten that very instant. Only to realize all the time I could have used for something else just evaporated.

    For online distractions, I've been told - but can not personally attest to - Scrivener as a tool to help with that. As for life's other distractions, yeah, ummm...when you figure that out, please let me know :-)