I’m newer to the novel writing world. I've always been a writer of sorts, but never took myself seriously nor had the gumption to even try writing an entire book. So when I finally made myself do it (and to be perfectly honest, my initial reason for writing a novel was to prove to my type-B personality that I could, in fact, finish something), I learned things about myself. I found out that I’m a procrastinator. Okay, that wasn't news at all, but the extent of my procrastination took a whole new level when I started writing.
The good news for me is I’m not alone. There are a plethora of articles out there about how to get off the procrastination runaway horse. Because it is a runaway horse… and one that sometimes can take forever to get back on the right path.
So here is a list of the five biggest distractions that keep me from writing (in no certain order):
1. The plethora of articles about how to stop procrastinating. There’s nothing like reading a bunch of articles about the things you can do to stop procrastinating, to really help you procrastinate. Quite the distraction, indeed.
2. My children. Don’t get me wrong, those snot-nose, screaming, crying, tantrum-ing little terrors, are the apple of my eye. Life would be so very dull without them. But nothing distracts me more than my three kiddos. I’ll have a fabulous idea for a story line or something a character could say and I will run to my computer or grab my phone to quickly type some notes and then someone will crap their pants and whoosh – just like that, it’s gone. Never to return to my brain again.
3. My husband. I really do heart the guy, and he is a very supportive of my writing career. He’s always encouraging me to write and wants me to get my next book done, however he also constantly wants me to come see something funny he’s watching on TV, or read a clever article he’s just read, or rattle off who he thinks the Denver Broncos should draft. I get it, I’m his best friend and he should want to share those things with me, but it’s always when I’m supposed to be writing. Always. Case in point, he just made me step away from my computer and my writing of this article to come and look at his nose because he’s convinced it’s getting bigger. True story.
4. Reading other books. Now, I’m an all or nothing kind of girl and so when I get sucked into a book (recently it was Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid – could not put it down), I must finish it. Which means, when I’m reading, I can’t be simultaneously writing. I try, I really do. I try to use it as a treat – like I tell myself if I can write 1,000 words then I can go back to reading. But then I remember I’m a freaking adult and I tell myself to shut up and go back to reading with no writing done whatsoever. So yeah, that is a major distraction of mine.
5. Social media. Honestly, do I even need to explain that one? It’s also an entire-life distraction, if I’m being honest.
Really, this is just the tip of the iceberg for me. I dream of a week-long getaway, by myself, with no distractions, so I could focus. But heaven knows I’d find a distraction in that scenario as well (“oh look! A bug!”). Someday I’ll find that focus that I desire, until then I will continue on as I have been… distractedly writing.