50 Shades of Distraction….or maybe just 25.


To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.  ~Eva Young

Sometimes I wonder why I never seem to get very far when I write.  A word or two, maybe a couple of good sentences.  On rare occasions  I’ll end up with several pages.  I decided to really think about my writing process.  I always start out with good intentions, determined to end up with something of quality, hoping to get into the zone where I can tune the entire world out.  That does happen sometimes and the work I end up doing makes me wonder why I don’t produce writing like that all the time.  I would guess that the following is what usually happens when I sit down to write. 


  1. Open can of diet Coke
  2. Play Castleville for 20 minutes until I’m out of energy. (Farmville is so 2010).
  3. Check all my friends news feeds in case I’ve missed a vital, important piece of info in the last five minutes.
  4. Take a facebook break to check my email.
  5. Channel surf until I find a reality TV marathon that can be background noise while I write. 
  6. Pinterest Surf
  7. Answer phone call from Mom.  When she asks what I’m doing say “Oh, just trying to write…” as I “pin” a $600 purse I like.  I tell myself this is truth when I say.  I am trying to write and pinterest is full of inspiration.
  8. Check my bank account for some kind of miraculous deposit that will allow me to purchase the Coach purse I just “pinned”.
  9. Stare at inspiration wall of pictures and wait for the words to come.
  10. Staring is fruitless.  Pull up iTunes and listen to the soundtrack I made for the book, hoping the music will stir up some kind of moody trance that will end in a new chapter.
  11. Wake up three hours later, surprised that its dark out.
  12. Open a new can of diet coke because the other one is warm and mostly empty and I can’t write if the diet coke is warm.
  13. Google the percentage of saliva left in a can by the time it is almost consumed.
  14. Skype with sister.
  15. Call Grandma to find out the latest family gossip, secretly hoping its juicy and can go in my next novel.
  16. Search cupboards for a secret stach of chocolate that I know doesn’t exist because I tell myself at the store that I’m on a diet and don’t need it.
  17. Rationalize that I can’t possibly write anything decent until I’ve had some chocolate, preferably Hershey’s or peanut butter M and M’s.
  18. Talk myself out of chocolate because I’m in my pj’s and I don’t want to go into a store. If only there were drive-through candy stores.
  19. Write down ‘drive through candy store’ on my ‘list of businesses I should start’.
  20. See other idea on list and remember that I had wanted to research it some more. 
  21. In the midst of research new idea, discover that business cards are essentail to any kind of marketing.
  22. Start designing business cards.
  23. Check bank balance to see if business cards will fit into non-existent budget.
  24. Get frustrated.
  25. Swear inwardly because I can’t write if I don’t have business cards.  Urgh.
  26. Look at the clock and realize I have to be at work in like 6 hours. 
  27. Give up and go to bed, vowing to write for three hours the next night.  No interuptions.


So yeah, it’s pretty obvious why I don’t produce more work.  I’m easily distracted by silly things.  And I let them distract me.  Maybe it’s self-sabotage.  It’s easier to say I’m writing and learning about writing than it is to actually write and open myself up to criticism when I finish.  No one wants to fail and if I don’t finish, well then, I can’t fail, right?

Meh.  That’s a crappy attitude.  So I definitely have to ignore it.  I’ll probably still do all of those things to put off the actually writing.  But those aren’t what matter.  It’s those few times I actually get work done that really count.  It might not always come easily, but when it does, it’s meant to be.  At least until it’s time to edit. Hah.




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