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.

5 comments:

  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!

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  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.

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  3. Oh, sounds fun. :-)

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  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 . . . ;-)

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  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.

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