Because distractions abound.
One more cup of the best coffee in town (stove top espresso) or another nibble at the rapidly decreasing block of dark peppermint chocolate that lurks in the fridge waiting to ambush me whenever I open its door.
The reproachful doggy stare – shouldn’t we be frolicking on the beach with sticks? Guitar twangs from my other half, enticing me to come out and play.
I’d never be labelled as a domestic goddess, but sometimes I find myself trance-like knee deep in laundry, folding mismatched pairs of socks or brandishing the toilet brush instead of my pen.
Why do I allow myself to be distracted from my keyboard when I love to write?
The reasons are many and varied, but to minimise this I’ve implemented a few strategies.
- I have an independent writing area set up.
- Allocating set times for writing. These are non-negotiable and this time is for writing only. No researching, reading, googling, filing, colour-coding folders or any other tasks that is writing-like, but not actually writing.
- Setting realistic goals (word count) and continually reassessing them.
- Planning and plotting outlines so I have a rough guide for my story structure.
- Documenting my writing progress in a log book each day. Noting project and word count. Being accountable to myself to keep on target. I also have writing buddies who check my progress.
- Allowing myself to write crappy first drafts. Editing comes later.
- Write something … anything. Perseverance is the key. Keep writing the story as you can’t edit a blank page.
- Ensuring I finish the planned pieces before starting anything new. It’s easy to become bombarded with new ideas that seduce you away from your current story. Take a moment and jot down these fresh ideas in a notebook. Later on these can be reviewed for merit.
Best wishes with your writing,