Monday, January 10, 2011

Top Ten On The Tenth: Writing Distractions


So I realize my monthly top ten list is never one of my most popular posts, but I enjoy doing them and will continue to do so.  As much as I enjoy learning from my fellow bloggers, I enjoy learning about them also.  And I think it's important for my readers to know a tad about me, too.  This way, you can call me a geek or nerd with complete confidence; no need to simply assume. :)

This month's top ten list reveals my most frequent writing distractions.  I enrolled myself in a personal "Writing Boot Camp" beginning New Years Day.  And even though I have stuck to my schedule, my productivity is still something to be desired.

Why's that?

My Top Ten Worst Writing Distractions

1.  My Blog.  It's official; I'm addicted.  I love this thing.  I'm a fan of engaging in conversations and hearing from others.  And I love the people I'm meeting.  Seriously; you all rock!  I'd say I prefer your company to people I know in real life, but then I might offend the people I know in real life, right?  Hmmm.  I started this blog in May - Mother's Day to be exact.  When I woke up, it wasn't on my list of things to do - just sort of happened.  It was a slow start, but now I'm moving in the right direction.  I appreciate the support, encouragement, and friendship beyond words (are writers allowed to say "beyond words?").  Well, in all sincerity, I have met some of the nicest people, and I genuinely look forward to our correspondence.  Thank you for joining me on my journey.  I currently have a friend designing a new layout.  I'm planning a sweet contest for the new launch, as well as thinking up something for my 100 Followers Giveaway.  So, start looking forward to chances to win cool prizes.  Also, I'm planning to begin special #WW and #FF shout-outs on my blog.  At the conclusion of each post, I'll acknowledge and link a fellow writer (Wednesdays) or recommend a blog to follow (Fridays).  I like supporting my friends, and I like being a nice guy.

2.  Twitter.  I avoided that site like the plague; I wanted nothing to do with it.  I finally joined, decided I didn't like it, and canceled my account.  I repeated this process three times.  Finally, in the middle of August, I sucked it up, and now, like my blog, I love it.  It feels good to be connected to other writers.  Honestly, it's so much better than a writing group that meets the same night every week - in the same place with the same people.  Twitter allows constant communication with all sorts of people, and I have to say, the writing community is phenomenal.  It was never my expectation to be welcomed and supported.  Again, I appreciate the companionship.

3.  Facebook. Until a few months ago, this would have been first on the list.  I guess it's good to be moving in a different direction, but I do enjoy the site.  Having moved a few times and worked at a number of jobs, it's nice to have such an easy way of keeping in touch with people.

4.  The Bloody "Day Job." I can't complain much.  I work part-time a few days each week.  Some have it much worse (though better paychecks, I'm sure.)  I just hate having to stop what I'm working on to get there.  And I hate my annoying commute, but that is another story.

5.  Words With Friends. It's a fun little game, isn't it?  It has benefits: I learn new words, it keeps my brain active, and it makes me pay attention to spelling.  Not to mention, there are very few people who can beat me.  That's always fun.  What's that?  You think you can?  Go ahead; look me up and give it a shot.  My username is PAUL14210.  Should you succeed, I'll announce it in a blog post.

6.  The GymI have this thing with working out.  I exercise Monday - Friday with no exceptions.  It's a good thing; it clears my head, and some of my best ideas come in the middle of cardiovascular exercise.  Unfortunately, I have days where it's harder to fit in.  I don't like feeling guilty skipping it, and I don't like feeling guilty for going either. 

7.  E-mail.  As my writing connections grow, I'm starting to have real conversations with writers around the glove.  They fascinate me.  I'm thrilled that people would value my opinion - that I'm someone others would converse with.  Again, I'm learning so much, and is learning not one of the most valuable things in life?

8.  Eating. I love food.  So, when I actually forget to eat, you know something is off.  But seriously, it gets in the way of my writing.  I'm told I have to eat to survive, so I do.  Though sometimes it really puts a cramp in my agenda.  Thank God for take-out.

9.  Reading.  I hardly read these days, but when I do, I'm sucked in.  I'll spend with a book and feel like ten minutes have passed.  Reading is notorious for letting time slip away.

10.  Sleeping.  Notice this is last on the list.  That's because I rarely sleep.  When I try, it doesn't work because I'm thinking about my manuscript, worrying about my characters, or writing my next blog post in my head.  Of course we have to sleep, so at some point, I'll pass out.  Don't get me wrong - I love love LOVE sleeping.  But sometimes, as I watch my "To Do" list expand and my progress dwindle, it seems like a real waste of time.

So, how about you friends and readers?  What is your worst writing distraction?


  1. Video games. I'd turn off the router if it didn't keep me from twitter, which I totally do NOT have a problem with. I swear.

    Good list.

  2. Replace #5 with Volleyball and then make the part-time a full-time job and you pretty much have my list.

    Breakfast Every Hour

  3. Mmm...all good distractions! Well, maybe not GOOD but all too common I suppose! Dang blogs and intersting people...

  4. Paul, after reading your list I'd have to agree that you are addicted. But I am, too. :) I think finding the right balance is the key. It's easier said than done...

  5. All of the above except facebook. Blech, I rarely look at it. Twitter is my number 1 distraction, but no complaints. It's how I have connected with other wonderful writers such as yourself:)

  6. All of this is SO true for me! Although I must say sleeping would be at the top of my list instead of the bottom. I'm like addicted to sleep. Lol.

  7. I wouldn't call the gym a writing distraction. I don't doubt it actually helps you write! Blogging is probably my biggest distraction even though that too helps my writing.

  8. JE - Good addition. I'm not so bad with the videogames; though I have a handful of games I play online. I like to think of it as "developing the mind."

    Alex - Nice to see you hear. I imagine it is extremely difficult to balance a full-time job with adequate writing time. I'll be in that boat soon; I don't think I can hold out much longer in my current situation. I'll be asking you for tips, haha!

    Colene - Interesting people - EXACTLY! If all you people weren't so interesting, I wouldn't be visiting your blogs now would I? Good, I can blame all of you, lol!

    TK - Perhaps we should look into a 12 step program for blogging addicts? I'll join if you do, though I may not have time to do al l2 steps while I'm blogging....:/

    Michele - I agree. It baffles me that once upon a time, people had to crank out novels on typewriters - with no human interaction. It's so nice feeling part of a community. (Oh, and thanks for calling me "wonderful" - haha. You're too kind.)

    Adam - It's weird; I LOVE sleep, but lately, I can't. Though I must admit, even though I'm up ridiculous hours these days, I never want to drag myself out of bed in the morning. I keep telling myself I'll get on a schedule.

    Lynda - It truly does help. I just wish it didn't take so much time (and effort) to go. I need to be like Hermione Granger - I think it was the third book/movie - where she could be in two places at once. Now THAT would be cool.

  9. Blogs, other people's blogs, huuuuuge distraction. Gah!

    I've introduced a new rule that's working really well for me. I'll share, just in case it helps. I gave up on trying to limit my social media time, so instead I just decided that I need to spend more time on writing each day than on social media. If I spend a couple of hours checking out blogs, well...

  10. My day job is full-time and we'd have to take out number five (I actually have no idea what that is) and I haven't started going to the gym yet, but the rest would definitely be on my list.

    By the way, I gave you an award on my blog today.

  11. I'm sticking my fingers in my ears and chanting "LalaLA" about Twitter--and Facebook. I seem to get enough writerly socializing with blogging. I sympathize with the long commute, but hey, look at it this way: more unstructured time to ponder your latest plot twist. ;o)

  12. Amie - I think it's excellent to have some type of time management in place. Since the new year, I've been trying to stick to a schedule myself. I still slip up now and then, but overall, I'd say it's working.

    Quinn - Words with Friends is an iPhone app. Think Scrabble - it's basically the same thing, the the point values vary slightly for certain letters. And I'm actually eating my words because I've been playing this girl the past two days who continues to smoke me. OH! And thank you for the award!!

    Carol - LOL! I don't blame you. It is definitely a lot to keep up with. Fortunately I've grown up in this social media generation, so I had a lot of it mastered before I dove into writing. I can't imagine trying to start both simultaneously. And yes, the car is a great place to ponder the W.I.P. Now, if only those darn trucks would stop appearing out of nowhere...:/


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