Monday, October 3, 2016

Monday Motivation: 10/3/16

Writing in my backyard this morning
This morning, I'm thinking about all of the hundreds of distractions that get between writing and me. There are huge nonnegotiable ones, like being a mom, and smaller, completely within my control to ignore ones, like Netflix.

Here's my current list in no particular order:

  • puppies (two adorable ones, AMAZINGLY distracting)
  • also dog sitting (currently four dogs in my house)
  • managing household and housework (so. much. can't. let. go.)
  • kids' activities, projects, games, practices, camps, etc, etc, etc
  • events I've committed to (so many these last few months)
  • email 
  • reading others work and critiquing 
  • reading others books and loving so much I can't put down
  • this blog post (which reminds me...)
There are also sneaky distractions. Distractions that are tangentially related to writing, like blogging, facebooking, and tweeting about writing. Teaching at conferences about writing. Appearing at libraries and schools to talk about writing. Book signings. All important, absolutely, to a writing career and yet NOT actual writing. Sneaky because you run the giant risk of tricking yourself into believing you are accomplishing things, and you are, but you're not accomplishing any WRITING.

And I happen to believe that the biggest impact you can have on your writing career is actually writing, getting that next book done.

This morning I felt like my usual writing space, my office, was serving as a distraction from writing. The space is in flux, furniture is being moved, papers are piled up, half-read books lie spread eagle--I couldn't focus. So I unplugged my MacBook Air from the monitor and went out into the early October morning to write.

My focus followed. So thank God that worked!

I don't know if I have a specific point to make here, but I suppose it might be something like: If you're a writer (or any type of artist, really) it's important to recognize when the busyness of LIFE is keeping you from getting to the work. Recognize that, then find a space and a time, even if it's just an hour, and take your focus and your current project into that world.

It's time well spent. 

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