Writing in the face of life’s distractions

Robin Hood Daffy & Friar PorkyEver notice how the world seems to be against you anytime you go after your dreams? It’s  as if some unknown force, like a great guided missile system in the sky, has decided to target you with distractions and obstacles the second you want to focus on any of your wanted desires.

For me, the moment I plan to write anything, EVERYTHING possible seems to come my way: issues at work, kids need to be shuttled to practice, wife needs me to fix a dozen things, phone calls from a friend, the dog wants to play, and… well, poop happens. And don’t get me started when I actually am writing – because that’s like a siren calling out to all, alerting them to come running for the interrupting fun!

Don’t get me wrong. I love that I have “a life” and that people need me. I’m not one of those who wishes to be a hermit crab, holed away in a far off land without another soul around me (though there are days!)

No, I simply do my best to Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Spin! Ha! Thrust! anytime a distraction or obstacle comes my way. (and now you see the reason for the graphic!)

That said, there are some common sense strategies you can use to deflect the great guidance system before its able to lock on.

  1. Find isolation. Or, at least, find a place you can go that isolates yourself from the flow of daily life as much as possible.
  2. Create a schedule and stick to it! If you’re not able to do this, then don’t be surprised when life knocks you around.
  3. Make the schedule known. People will not respect your needs if you don’t make them known. You don’t have to be a jerk, mind you. Just let those who are most prone to interrupting you know that they should only do so in emergencies.
  4. Disconnect the distractions. Silence your phone. Shut off the television. Don’t you dare open your email or other social networking app. And only open your Internet browser if you need to research something for your story!
  5. Block out noise. Get some noise cancelling headphones, ear plugs, get a white-noise generator, or turn on some music.
  6. Put a do-not-disturb sign on your door. Very low tech, but hopefully it gets the message across.

And there you have it — a simple, yet effective way to stay productive in the face of life’s distractions. I hope this information helps you in some way. If you have any thoughts or ideas to share, please leave a comment.

If you stuck with the article this long and still have some life left in you, please take a moment to swing by my author’s website or Facebook page and leave a comment. I’d appreciate the visit!