The Distraction Factor
When I sit down to write the next scene of a story I’m working on, I know where I’m going, but sometimes I’m not sure how to begin where I left off and my mind wanders. It’s not so much a case of writer’s block, but more of an easily distracted state of mind. Suddenly, I remember that cobweb in the family room or the dust bunny next to the washing machine. If I go into the other room, to take care of the problem, I remember there’s laundry in the dryer to be folded that somehow can’t wait. Or perhaps, as long as I’m in the family room, I might as well look for that cookbook I needed to make dinner.
Here are a couple of ways to manage distractions, before they take me away. I try to have a pen and paper handy to make a list of things I should do later, so I don’t have to worry that I will forget about them. Another strategy I use is to end one day’s writing in the middle of a sentence, so that on the next I have to finish the sentence, which helps me flow into continuing the story before those other pesky thoughts can distract me!
Another distraction I may have is the rude character that intrudes into my mind and begs to written about. There’s only one problem: she is from a completely different story! If that character’s voice won’t leave me alone, I use it as a writing prompt. I take five or ten minutes to explore her thoughts in writing. Now, as I go back to the manuscript I was working on, the new character has to be quiet--at least for awhile. Also, I have another story idea brewing to begin after the current project is finished. Creativity breeds creativity.
What character is begging to get out of your head today and down onto paper?
How do you deal with distractions to your writing?
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More fun for writers: Check out Tom Threadgill's humorous post:
Goofus and Gallant?)