Distractions, a writer’s guide

Each day I skip writing, I’ll look at my desk guiltily and then slink off like a disgraced criminal fleeing a crime scene. Curse ye, distractions, I’ll mutter as I shake my fist like an old cat lady on her lawn.

But what if distractions are a good thing? What if, properly channeled, they could catapult you back into writing?

I offer a few possibilities for capitalizing on your distractions:

  1. Read or watch things that immerse your brain in your setting. For me, that’s rewatching Hercule Poirot or reading a new 1920s mystery book. Sometimes the lure of the era draws me into my novel.
  2. Do homework. Excuse yourself from writing if you do some research instead, like reading that book on English history, writing a book review or preparing this a blog post.
  3. Clean something. Yes. Cleaning or organizing, especially your writing area, will either make you feel excited about possibilities or just so tired of cleaning you’d rather write 100 words.
  4. Bribe yourself. I don’t suggest this often, but some days I give myself leave to do something totally unrelated in exchange for some writing.
  5. Daydream about completion. I’ll picture getting a call from a publisher that my book is ready or I’m sitting down to chat with a happy reader over a cup of tea. It reminds me why I started this journey in the first place.

Now please excuse me while I eat a pint of ice cream and watch Golden Girls re-runs…

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