Legend has it that writing is a vocation inspired by the muses. The reality is the calling to an author is never quite loud enough to drown out the Siren songs of everyday distractions.
Here is a list of the top ten diversions that keep us from completing the next best-seller. 1] The Internet – This invaluable research tool could more accurately be called the work of the devil when it comes to its ability to entice you. Whether perusing celebrity gossip, endlessly studying the topic of your book, or losing hours to bizarre porn; this miracle of technology can steal your productivity. 2] Reading & Watching TV – We tell ourselves that reading teaches us to write and makes us better at it.
And it does. However, it is difficult to resist because it’s effortless. Creating is hard. A love of reading is what makes most of us want to write to begin with, so it is easy to rationalize that it’s not wasting time. Most of the same factors apply to watching TV. 3] Working Out / Exercise – Whether going to the gym dressed in the whole get-up and circuit training for a muscle bod or just going for a casual stroll or bike ride, this lure from the writing desk at least has benefits to your general well-being.
This can actually help your writing as long as you don’t let too many hours be sucked away. 4] Food / Cooking – Somehow sitting down at the keyboard always makes us hungry or thirsty. Grabbing a snack is one thing, but actually preparing a meal can gobble up half an afternoon.
Better to stick to a beverage of choice. 5] Phone / Texts / Email – In the age of omni-present electronic communication, someone is always trying to reach you. If you don’t enforce a rule to disconnect when trying to stay focused, you’ll get a lot of small talk done, and little else. 6] Masturbation – See number one.
Enough said. 7] Pet Care / Walking the Dog – It’s easy to step away from the computer to walk your puppy or play with the cat that’s crying for attention. After all, you have a responsibility to the happiness of the animal.
Schedule these important activities when you are not engaged in the creative process. 8] Chores / Errands – You’re really not in the mood to write when you choose to clean, go to the store, or mow the lawn instead. It’s easy to justify though.
These things have to be done, right? 9] Your Job / Homework – If you have a “day job” or attend school, these things are going to consume the lion’s share of your time. All you can do is make sure they don’t over-flow into your free time anymore than they have to.
10] Self-Doubt / Re-Writes / Reaching for Perfection – It’s easy to let self-editing keep you from moving forward on a project. Fearing that your writing isn’t good enough can create the illusion that you are blocked, preventing you from moving past the blank page. Belief in yourself may be the most crucial skill of writing. At the end of the day, there are unlimited things that pull our attention away from the fun but the very challenging craft of storytelling. Only making it a priority and maintaining a strong work ethic can enable you to accomplish your literary goals. Just sit down and put ink to paper or fingers to keys. plagiarism detector