D is for Distraction….#atozchallenge


Today’s A to Z topic is distraction. It’s something that all writers have to deal with but in the world of self-publishing where most of us are also employees, wives, mothers, ect full time, overcoming distraction can be a real challenge. How hard can it be, you ask, to find a quiet corner in my house and write? Let me tell you a story. This afternoon, I set down at my computer, turned on my writing music, brought up Scrivener and started to write. I had written 89 words when I turned around to see this behind me:


So, I’ve written 89 words toward my word goal for CampNanoWrimo in the past 2 days. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I have been blessed with the most amazing children ON THIS PLANET…and I welcome moments like this because they are too precious to wish away.

Still, the worst distractions for me aren’t even external. It’s the internal distractions that really hold me back the most. There are days when my brain is a steady train of thought and days when it feels like everything thought in the world, apart from my “writing thoughts” take priority.

Writing Rituals

One way to overcome distraction and focus the brain for writing is to develop a writing ritual. I actually wrote a post about my writing tools for a blog hop a while back and it talks a lot about my writing process and distraction so I wont go into detail about it right now but you can read that post here: Roping the Wind…The Writing Tools that Work for my Scattered Brain.  As a companion, here is an interesting post on famous author’s writing strange writing rituals that I thought would be fun to share.

So, whatever your outlets in life, what are your distractions and how do you deal with them?

…and as always, check out my fellow AtoZ Bloggers...


17 thoughts on “D is for Distraction….#atozchallenge

  1. My bird provides a nice distraction from time to time. Also, any kind of mess around my work table drives me to distraction. Sunny days fit the bill too, especially now that spring is coming. In general I fight them by setting myself a goal and reward system, and try to find that zone where the words pour forth without me having to think about them. Easier said than done.

    Very cute video, by the way. 🙂

      • Sometimes it’s a salty treat, sometimes it’s as simple as a stretch and looking at something that isn’t a computer screen. On particularly hard writing days, my reward can even be house cleaning. Anything to get me away from the computer, but not before another 500 words!

    • Oh, by the way, it’s actually an animated GIF. I didn’t want to upload the actual video because it’s quite loud. You have the music and the laughing, my daughters yelling “look at me” and “that’s my song”. lol…precious to me but probably really annoying to everyone else in the world… 😀

      • Haha, no worries, I teach kindergarten, so the cries of “Look at me!” are really familiar. When I hear them now I automatically put them in a queue so that every child gets a chance. Usually ends up with three kids beating on my leg while I get to them one by one. XD

      • Oh wow…that must be fun. I never realized how hard being a Kindergarten teacher must be until I have kids. My kids are 4, 3 and 3. There is 11 months between my eldest son and my twin girls so they’ll all start school at the same time (because of the way their birthdays fall). Having just 3 around the same age all day is a challenge, I couldn’t imagine having an entire class at that age. Bless your heart is all I can say. 😀 lol…

  2. Great post; I can relate completely. And that gif is adorable. I can’t imagine what it’s got to be like to write with kids in the house.

    I know that this is such a writing first world problem, but right now my biggest distractions are other stories. I’ll be working on one and then another that’s been living on the back-burner will start poking the back of my brain like a bored child. I have three or four out there so there’s always another one waiting in the wings to bug me. Like you mentioned in your other post, I too try to keep a notebook nearby to jot those notes down as quickly as possible. Of course, the second I break concentration, my otherwise distraction-obsessed brain starts down the social media rabbit hole. It’s a mess.

    • I think it’s good to work on multiple projects on a time…or at least allow yourself to make notes on other projects while you’re working on a “main” story. I do this a lot. I have 6 novels and a non-fiction book that I’m outlining while I work on other projects.

      As far as the “social media rabbit hole” (I love this phrase, btw), I think that’s a familiar place for many of us writers. I have often wondered if I would be more productive writing on a typewriter but Scrivener has me so spoiled that I don’t know if I could do it.

  3. Miss Alister

    Internal distractions, oh mercy, do I know those! More often than not, I’ve got a legion of demons screaming inside my head, telling me to not to bother trying to write anything because…well, it’s a long list of things, but basically because I suck!
    Good reading material you put out for us! Loved the copyblogger link to “8 Strange Rituals…” and of course the entertaining GIF (kids do hilarious things)!

  4. Life is a distraction! Friends, movies, live music and adventure! But it only makes the words you find the time to scrawl that much richer 😉

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