I feel like you need this post. I feel like I need this post. Maybe I just want to feel like I saved you, just like the guy in a Taylor Swift song. Whatever the reason, the fact remains the same : Friends don’t let friends write while distracted. Read on and if nothing else, humor me.
I am a distracted writer. It’s the reason I haven’t written lately. I’m so distracted by anything going on around me that I get absolutely nothing down on paper. The simple journey from my brain to the outside world is made into a death-spiraling vortex of nothingness because I get distracted. Then before I know it, it’s like I drank from the waters of the Lethe because I don’t remember what inspired me. Today ,I am changing that because I’m writing a post from start to finish without stopping. Just to let my number one enemy in being productive know that it’s over.I’ll call it the Kanye of writing. Here’s my do’s and don’ts to stop this madness and get to what you love -Writing.
We have all been there. No matter what your intentions were this morning or at midnight, remember that the road to hell was paved with good ones, too. Great thoughts are easily lost in space when you let yourself be interrupted by another person, place or thing. The following phrases are my mantra for these problems. I’d say they were tried and true but in all reality, I just thought of them.
Don’t be a Kanye and let Taylor finish. Don’t be a Taylor and let Kanye interrupt.
Now how do you do this, you ask? It’s easy. Channel your inner Ozzy and shut yourself in the pantry -only do it intentionally. For you young ones out there, check the clip out below and you’ll get it, I promise. Actually the following may or may not contain the memorable scene as I got distracted while looking for it and this is a post about fighting writing distraction. In any case, the message is the same.
Put your phone up. Put your dog up. Put your kids up. Put your husband up. Or put yourself up.
Be an Ozzy and remember why you are in the pantry.
Don’t be a Sharon and let Ozzy out of the pantry.
Now, I admit the pantry might not be the best place to find solitude. I prefer my shut yourself walk-in closet, with its comforting plush carpet and racks of beautiful designer shoes and purses. What did you expect from me? Sorry, I let Kim Kardashian take over my thoughts for a second.
The point is that you need solitude and that place can be anywhere you can find it.
Next let’s address those two words that bring a shudder of knowing empathy and horror to writers everywhere, Writer’s Block.
I’ve struggled with this mainly because I let myself. I thought I was supposed to have it. At least occasionally. So I invited it. Like Jonathan Harker walking into Dracula’s castle, I entered the portal to writer’s block freely and of my own will. I’m telling you that you don’t have to allow this bloodletting. So put the term writers’ block out of your mind by using whatever form of mental garlic that is effective for you. For me, it’s word prompts weekly writing challenges or even crossword puzzles. These instantly stimulate me, and I feel like I have become a better writer from them as well.
Next, and an essential part of the process for me is to be constant and consistent in the writing process. This goes back to the distraction issue. Writing time is not the time to use new writing software or a program that you are just learning. If you are struggling, stick with one that you feel comfortable with or go back to what you started writing your blog posts on in the beginning. I started my blog over a year ago on my iPhone, and I’m finishing this post on it now. I’ll go back and edit on my laptop, but writing on my phone stops me from trying to edit as I write. What was that, you cry? You said to put your phone up. I meant you need to limit the distractions and focus. You get the gist so stop being so literal and listen to my last bit of basic af knowledge already.
Sometimes the most crucial for me at least is to take a break from all things deemed social media every once and a while. I just did this, and it seems to have rejuvenated me. Hopefully, it lasts. If not, then I will retreat to my pantry/ closet with none to distract me, do some wordy things like prompts and challenges, and I almost forgot – take a favorite book with me. When all else fails, reading a favorite book is the cure for the non -writing blues.
I love to hear from my readers. What are some of your go-to, favorite books? Leave them in the comments section below! If you couldn’t tell, one of mine is Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Until next time, thanks for reading and subscribing to my blog!
This week’s photo prompt is provided by H.R.R. Gorman. Thank you H.R.R.!
”Donald, come out. We know you are in here. We can help you but we need you to cooperate with us. We know you are scared but no one will hurt you. You can trust us. We are your friends. We only want to talk. ”
The tall man in charge was getting annoyed and I could sense that he was also afraid. Afraid of not finding Donald. I tried to hide my amusement at his obvious distress. It really wasn’t a funny situation.
The tall man kept looking anxiously for Donald to come out.
I jokingly stated that Donald was probably contemplating his surrender but the white flag was out of the question since he was out of toilet paper.
The tall man whose name was ironically George Smalley wasn’t amused and told me to shut up.
I silently turned the remote on and Donald the duck was suddenly spinning and quacking his way to end the hostage standoff on top of a Roomba.
“That is Donald? ”
”Duck, duck… Goose, ” I cheerfully called over my shoulder.
“I’m sorry but I’m not climbing that high. I’m staying here. I’m not risking no broken bones or nothing just because you dared me to.”
”Sam. Answer me when I’m talking to you.”
”Hey, I guess I am just wondering why we are following the others when you’re the boss.”
”Sam… Hey, it’s a bit early for that. I’m confused about… Ehh. Sam? you are sure screwy acting like you ain’t right in the head.”
”What’s got hold of you Sam?”
”Sam, where did you go? I can’t see you anymore. Are you there?”
Finally, Sam answered ”I’m headed back down the path to get some help. Stay put and I’ll be back .”
Like I could go nowhere Sam, I’m stuck in here and you know it .”
The redheaded girl yelled one more time “Sam! ” before she went silent at the sound of his footsteps walking away.
The next thing Tobi heard were men talking.
“Imagine being in there with this one! She’d never shut up.”
The deep voices then gave way to laughter, coming from outside of the cave. Tobi angrily said, “it ain’t funny, I’m stuck in the dark and I’m hungry and it’s cold and smelly and I hate you, damn it, Sam “.
”Be quiet and you’ll get yours, I promise. ”
The voice wasn’t familiar to her either but she was sure it wasn’t Sam…She was still screaming for him even while he was shoved inside the cave.