Friday, March 11, 2016

Danger! Distracted Writer

by Deborah Nielsen


Sometimes I get a little distracted when I’m supposed to be writing. I think I’m all primed to sit down and do something productive, I’m in the mood, the idea is right at the front of my brain and starting to come out through my fingertips on the keyboard. Along about then I decide I need to look something up. Now.

So I blip over to the internet to check a fact or do a quick bit of research on the topic at hand, and before I know it, 30 minutes or more have passed and I’m still sniffing down bunny trails like a coonhound after a fox. I’ve checked out my favorite websites just because. I’ve gone into the forum at Women Riders Now to see what the latest topic is on The Soap Box thread. I’ve checked my emails. Then somewhere along in there the dogs will erupt into a barking tizzy because something is happening outside; the neighbor’s cat has come over, or someone’s walking a dog past the house, or who knows what else. That’s usually when I realize that I’ve spent far too much time on all those all-consuming little distractions offered by my favorite browser.

With the dogs tuned up to fever pitch, who can write? So some more distractions while I get their attention and get them out of the window. Which turns into a longer distraction because then they either need to go outside or it’s time for their evening cookies which they will not let you forget about. By the time I get done with all the dog distractions, I’m out of the mood to write and can’t remember where I left off.

Does any of this sound familiar? 

I know I’m not the only one who suffers from distraction-itis. But I’ve found a cure, sort of. It’s called a looming deadline. That works well for those pieces that have a deadline (like this blog) but I’m still working on a cure for those pieces that don’t have one.

If anyone has solutions that work for them I’d love to hear about them.

2 comments:

Patricia Stoltey said...

As one who's totally wrapped up in getting the new doggie to get along with the resident cat, I know all about those distractions.

In order to get more done, I've decided to make better use of my laptop which I can move from room to room and stop trying to make the animals conform to my office/desktop schedule. And that will require me to return quickly to my project as soon as each distraction is resolved. I'm keeping my fingers crossed this will help me get more work done.

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