There are a lot of things that can cause distraction when writing. Whether you’re a good writer or a bad writer (I am hardly in a position to judge anyone at the moment. I am wrestling with the difficulties of editing a book that I wrote without enough planning, mostly whilst on the train, but that’s a different story….), you may find that writing becomes an addiction, as an example here, I should state that I am writing this post whilst sat in the drivers seat of a car (clearly I am not driving- don’t worry…). You see I have a six month old son who likes to go to sleep in his car seat, so the daily routine includes going out in the car until he falls asleep, once he is asleep, it is safe to stop somewhere.
As I sit in the car park at Sainsbury’s (for the foreign readers that is a supermarket), I write feverishly, my tablet held at an impossible angle between steering wheel and belly- punching out words with two fingers where normally I would touch type- already my shoulders and hands ache. A man just got into his car next to me and gave me a very strange look, but the thing about fatherhood is that I just don’t care what people think- my son is the number one priority……The other thing about fatherhood is ‘baby-brain’ (in this case getting distracted whilst writing a post about getting distracted whilst writing….), whilst this affects my wife to a greater degree than me – I fear I am still a victim 🙂
So back to my top ten distractions when writing a novel:-
1) Babies- although in the case of my wonderful son I don’t really mind- kids take up a lot of time! Crikey, it’s hard (but highly enjoyable) work….
2) Work- a career that makes you work 70 hours a week can be a real drag when you are trying to write a book.
3) Having to eat- I reckon that takes about an hour a day, an hour that could be dedicated to writing.
4) Working on book cover design concepts when you haven’t even finished your book- hours and hours of lost time– mostly trying to figure out how to get GIMP (I will write about it in the ‘serious’ section of the blog when I get time and if I am not distracted..), to work and do what I need it to do. All this, ladies and gentlemen, when I have already decided that I will hire a graphic designer to do it for me in the end!
5) Working on a novelette that sprang into my mind the other week. It’s now finished and it’s called ‘Paradise’. It has absolutely nothing to do with my novel and now I have two pieces of work that need editing (oh the pain!).
6) Working on a short story that popped into my head the other week! (see 5- I have compounded my editing misery…..).
7) TWITTER (sorry to shout, but it takes up a hell of a lot of time!), so twitter is great, but if you’re going to be active you need to put in the hard graft, even if that’s just thanking all the kind tweeps out there who have been so supportive. Blimey, is it just me or is everyone in the world an aspiring author? Apparently we all have a book in us- all I can say is that it must be wedged in so painfully that everyone wants to push it out onto the page…..
8) Goodreads- OK I am a real novice here but it does look like the best thing since sliced bread for getting recommendations for books etc- if you haven’t done so already, check it out….(oh dear, I think I just distracted you from writing your book….).
9) Looking out the window of the car and spotting all the people that give you weird looks. Imagining what those people think you are doing….. wow, perhaps they think I’m some kind of spook on a surveillance operation? Sadly, in truth, I think they believe I am a strange looking bloke who appears to be staring at his lap whilst moving his hands around in the same area (Oh dear god, no! What must that look like? Gotta finish this blog quick or I’ll get arrested….).
10) There are many more that could be added, but see point 9 (looks around warily for signs of police car….) I have to get this finished! Blogging- I may not blog often but it is a bit of a distraction (and it may just get me arrested…..).
So there you go. Big moan over. Truth is I love the writing- don’t know if I’m any good or not but hey, who cares as long as you enjoy it, right? My son is still asleep in the back of the car (45 minutes sleep and counting- Wifey will be so proud of me!). Off to brave the chaos of the modern supermarket, and then, who knows? If he’s still asleep I may have a go at that chapter I realised needs adding to the first act of ‘Hope’- stranger things have happened…..