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.
- Open can of diet Coke
- Play Castleville for 20 minutes until I’m out of energy. (Farmville is so 2010).
- Check all my friends news feeds in case I’ve missed a vital, important piece of info in the last five minutes.
- Take a facebook break to check my email.
- Channel surf until I find a reality TV marathon that can be background noise while I write.
- Pinterest Surf
- 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.
- Check my bank account for some kind of miraculous deposit that will allow me to purchase the Coach purse I just “pinned”.
- Stare at inspiration wall of pictures and wait for the words to come.
- 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.
- Wake up three hours later, surprised that its dark out.
- 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.
- Google the percentage of saliva left in a can by the time it is almost consumed.
- Skype with sister.
- Call Grandma to find out the latest family gossip, secretly hoping its juicy and can go in my next novel.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Write down ‘drive through candy store’ on my ‘list of businesses I should start’.
- See other idea on list and remember that I had wanted to research it some more.
- In the midst of research new idea, discover that business cards are essentail to any kind of marketing.
- Start designing business cards.
- Check bank balance to see if business cards will fit into non-existent budget.
- Get frustrated.
- Swear inwardly because I can’t write if I don’t have business cards. Urgh.
- Look at the clock and realize I have to be at work in like 6 hours.
- 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.