Friday, June 3, 2011


How easily I can become distracted. I sit at the computer, searching for exactly the right word, the perfect phrase and my eyes wander from the screen, taking in the stack of mail that I didn't have time to sort yesterday.
Another pause, another struggle to describe the scene I see in my head so others will see it that way, too. This time it's a list of people I should have already called that distracts me, notes I should already have in the mail.
What are your distractions? Ringing telephones? (I just CAN"T ignore them!) Children? Husband?
I've found there's simply not enough time to do everything I want to do in this life. Therefore, priorities must be set. And adhered to. (That's another story entirely!) When I first started writing, there were two hours in my day when almost no one needed me - between 5 and 7 a.m. That became my writing time. It was my priority. It was inviolate. Almost.
There are always emergencies, and visitors, and mitigating circumstances (such as tile men coming to lay the new tile at 7:00 a.m. so I have to start painting baseboards at 3:30 a.m.) And then there are the little distractions that can eat into that valuable time.
I'll just throw a batch of washing in so it can be getting done while I write. Seven minutes of my two hours are gone. I'd better run out and bring in the newspaper before the sprinklers come on. The headline grabs me. Fives minutes gone.
I'm stumped. Where is this scene going? What is the motivation? I'll fix toast and juice while I figure it out. Six minutes eaten up. The cat is crying at the door. Better feed her. Four minutes. Suddenly it's seven a.m. my two hours are gone, and I only have two pages to show for my efforts instead of four or five. I let little distractions eat up a precious twenty-two minutes.
Make sure you're using your writing time to its best advantage. Close your eyes and ears to all the little distractions (unless someone is bleeding!) and stay focused on your writing. After all, isn't it one of your priorities?

1 comment:

Cheri J. Crane said...

Lynn, I'm like you, I do my best writing from about 5:00 a.m. until about 7:00 a.m. The phone doesn't usually ring during that time of day, and I'm normally the only one up, so there are less distractions. ;)