Stay focused

Dealing with distractions –

Let’s say you’ve got a great story idea and you are busily pursuing it. Daily you go back to your writing machine with fresh energy. The word counts and page counts are mounting, things are going well. You have harnessed your own activity to the point where you don’t have to worry just now about your own internal thought process. You are not blocked.

Yet, distractions and external interruptions abound. Cell phone, texts, knocks on the door. It’s fine to be wanted but can you ignore the world bulging toward you, trying to break into your writing space?

You are not alone. But only you know what priority your creative writing is, in the landscape of your life. It’s up to you how many interruptions you will allow. Excuses are not as satisfying as getting your story written.

Here are some alternatives you could try:

1. Seize that predawn quiet, rise early and use that time before the town wakes up to explore your imagination. You will be free of unannounced visitors!

Blue Moon

2. Stay up late at night and use the early morning hours to rest.

3. Set a timer or the alarm on your phone/watch, put on the headphones (with or without music playing) and write as though the only time you have for this activity is before the buzzer sounds.

4. Try to train a person who is close to you to be the gatekeeper for a while, head off the interruptions. Good luck with that one.

If distractions and interruptions are a continuing problem and this is becoming an excuse about why you are not writing, you might have to go away for a while. Retreat for even an hour to the bathroom, the apartment house rooftop, the public library, an independent bookseller with a cafe — whatever scrap of wilderness you can find.

Above all, don’t give up. Keep trying to find a physical place and the time so that you can tell that story, find that solution to the dilemma, make us laugh. Or make us choke up a little, perhaps near the end.

Manna is everywhere!

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