Thursday, October 22, 2009

Distractions Be Gone!

Since Monday, I made a commitment to turn off my email accounts, Facebook, and anything else that gives me visible or audio update alerts during my main work hours. In three days' time I accomplished more than I have in any one week since I started writing WILLA.

It was hard not to open my browser (can't turn that off) and I admit I did it once or twice when I came up for air and needed a mini-break, but the results have been so significant and the amount of work I managed so satisfying that I'm going to continue this rigorous trial of self-denial.

I hadn't realized just how fractured by distraction my writing time had become, with all these networking sites available (something I didn't have when I was writing the first draft of KINDRED), until I cut a few of them out.

Managing distraction. Just a fact of life these days I guess. So happy I found something that works, because I was getting quite discouraged about my lack of discipline. Out of sight out of mind seems to work for me.


  1. I'm terrible. I tend to check email, FB, Twitter lots of times during writing time. Sometimes it works for me, because a little bit of time with a new screen up can jar me a little bit and help me get past a sticky point, but I know I also waste a lot of time.

    On the other hand, I was just saying to Haven that the access I have to other writers on the net, and their experiences, is giving me a colleg-worthy education. I'm so appreciative of getting to read about other writer's experiences!

    It's worth its weight in gold, that's for sure!

  2. Maisey,

    On occasion, jumping over to my writers forum or checking a writing blog will do that for me, too. That's a good way of putting it. It's a little mental jar that can actually benefit the process. But lately that hasn't been happening. I haven't been able to reach the level of absorption that I did during first draft writing of KINDRED (pre-FB days), until I turned everything off between 9am and noon (that's all, really, if I come back in the afternoon I'm usually editing, and that doesn't require the same brutal focus that first draft does for me).

    You might be interested in the writers forum I still frequent, the Books and Writers Community. It's over in my Writers and Authors Links. It's the oldest writers forum on the web. I learned much of what I know about writing by hanging out there. There's a sister forum for critique/workshop, but I've never participated. The section I've learned the most from is Research & Craft. There you'll find (and can join) craft discussions and you can ask (or answer) research questions, of writers all over the world. You can lurk there as a guest and read all the great threads/discussions, but to participate you have to sign up.

  3. Oh, sounds fun. :-)

  4. Thanks for the reminder---that's what I need to do. But I think I'll take it one step further and actually unplug my modem. As soon as I finish reading blogs . . . and Twitter updates . . . and FB . . . ;-)

  5. Kaye,

    I give myself permission to play on line between 8:15 and 9am or so. But then I must stop and turn it all off and get to work.

    I can't access FB today, for whatever inscrutable reason, so that's helping.