Dealing with distraction


When I first started writing my newest WIP, it was like magic. The WIP and I were completely on the same page, and it was some of the easiest writing I’ve ever done. The words flowed out of me, and all I had to do was will my fingers to keep up. I figured at that rate, I’d likely be done with a draft within three weeks.

*insert buzzer sound*

Wrong. The muse, she went away. I went from writing thousands of words a day to writing a hundred … to just reading what I’d written so far … to sitting back and thinking about where the story should go … to closing the document and watching TV instead. I made a few feeble attempts to get back into it but let myself get easily distracted by anything and everything else, and as it stands now I’m still not at the halfway point.

It’s so easy to get distracted. We all lead busy, busy lives. Children, spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, day jobs, night jobs, duties, obligations, on and on and on. It’s tempting to play the “I’m too busy to write” card, but (for me at least) that leads to dangerous territory. Kinda like working out. Skipping one day leads to skipping a second day, then a third, then a month has gone by and I haven’t stepped foot inside a gym. The only (and I do mean only) way I can keep myself honest is to set a schedule and stick to it. Or in other words:

Just write the damned thing already.

So here’s my plan. I will go back to writing 1,000 words a day. I am not allowed to pick up a book or veg in front of the TV or do anything fun until those 1,000 words are written. At that pace, I should be close to having a draft done by July 1, exactly one month from today. This is my vow, blog friends. V-O-W.

Now a Q4U: How do you handle distraction? Any tips for getting back into the flow?

Posted in Writing Tagged

12 Responses

  1. Rima says:

    I know exactly what you mean. Have you heard of Write or Die? I just downloaded it, and hope it will force my butt to write!

    • Meredith says:

      I have heard of it, but I haven’t tried it out yet. Does the formatting get all wonky when you try to paste what you’ve written back into Word?

  2. Susan says:

    Oy…I can relate to this. My distraction lately has been sunshine and reading–it has totally derailed my writing. Or rather, I’ve totally derailed my writing in favor of it. 🙂

    I think you’re right that the key is to just BICHOK until the flow returns. Sometimes, forcing it can make it worse (like if you’ve maxed out after weeks of intensive work), but if you’ve just been lazing around (as I’m prone to do in the sunnier months), BICHOK is definitely the answer.

    Good luck!!

    • Meredith says:

      Sunshine and reading is such a lovely distraction though! But yeah, you do have a point about rushing into it when you’re not ready and making it worse. Fortunately (?) mine is just a case of sheer laziness. 🙂

  3. Karen Strong says:

    It’s sooooo easy to get distracted. The only thing I can do is just do that “tough love” thing and give myself a writing challenge and make it happen. Otherwise, nada happens.

    Good luck on you 1K challenge. You can do it! 🙂

  4. Oh good luck! I found during NaNoWriMo that keeping a chart showing progress helped a lot for motivation.

  5. Holly says:

    I’m having the same issue myself right now. I actually just wrote a deadline for July 31st on my board for my new 1st draft. 😉 We can do it!!

  6. Pam Harris says:

    I think setting daily goals is a good way to push out that first draft. For me, I always tried to write at least 1 chapter a day. 🙂

  7. I’m starting a new story this month and am aiming for 50k by the end of the month. Thankfully, I’m on track even though I have been busy most of the day. Here’s to 3k before bed!

  8. This has happened to me too. Now on the days that I have a hard time getting my muse to cooperate, I write whatever. Put in some music and go where it takes me. Sometimes it feels like it is filler and I will probably scrap some of it anyway, but as long as I am writing something I am happy! Best wishes.

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