Sodaro's Stories

June 4, 2013

Discovering Distractions

“I write four books a year. I’m very fortunate that I write quickly; around 3,500 words a day. Being strict about delineating my writing time and personal life, as well as keeping distractions at bay, is the only way I accomplish this.” Alexander McCall Smith
Okay…when I first found this quote about distractions, I will admit it…there was a bit of a distraction as I saw the “I write four books a year” part and had to bring back the drool a bit…because I kept picturing my future island and, I’m not a math person, but 4 books a year would bring that into reality that much faster…but I need to keep my distractions at bay as Mr. Smith indicated.
Distractions are everywhere. Indeed the very things I use to promote my novels are in and of themselves, distractions…Facebook, Twitter, my blog here at WordPress, email, conversing with other writers…indeed all of the things that keep ideas flowing, motivation bouncing, and people connecting…are distractions because there are so many things to look at/think about/tend to with these things…and that can be a distraction.
Sometimes my job is a distraction, but final grades are done for March quarter and June quarter doesn’t start for 2 weeks, so that distraction should be minimal for the time being. Plus I still love teaching, and I still need a paycheck, so that is a necessary distraction.
Friends and family are another necessary distraction. As easy as it would be (and as tempting as it can be) I can not completely hermit-out as I mentioned wanting to do in a previous blog. I need people in my life. Real people. I need for my interactions to be actual rather than fictional…as long as the fictional still happens every day.
Distractions can also be tricky…they can be disguised as shiny things…and as those of you who know me best know, I am a sucker for shiny things. Sometimes those shiny things are a new game that you just really want to play…maybe just for a minute, when ideas are blocked…maybe just a taste. I was a pretty serious World of Warcraft addict until I realized I couldn’t just log on for a minute and see what was going on…so I cut myself off completely (though I didn’t delete or sell my toons…I may go back post-PhD, but am currently grounded).
Distractions can be a bump in the karma-road we all travel on…you can be moving along, not paying enough attention and you hit something…causing you to question, even for a second, whether you are doing what you are supposed to be doing.
Distractions can also be people…people that you want to believe are a part of the game plan…they are so shiny…surely they are meant to be a part of the plan for the island. But they are not…they are just distractions. There is a person out there, that will be a part of the plan and will not be a distraction, but I haven’t met him yet…but I have faith he is out there.
Wow…4 books a year. I need to get to work.

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4 Comments »

  1. Distractions in RL are one of those “must have” things because that keeps the reality check going. One of the things that I have found that helps me push the distractions away is to set a schedule for myself for my writing and keep to it. Sometimes it’s rather difficult to maintain, however, it can be done. Set aside a time block to sit there and write, be it blogs, reading blogs or working on your book(s).

    One of the things that I have found is that sometimes your characters in your stories just don’t want to talk to you – that’s when I set the book aside and work on something else during the time block. If you’re really into your subject matter – the book will oftentimes write itself with your assistance. Sounds a bit nuts but that’s how I’ve written for years.

    Comment by wowstorylines — June 4, 2013 @ 2:44 pm | Reply

    • Doesn’t sound nuts at all, and is in fact, one of the tricks I use as well. I have a primary project, the novel I want to finish next…that is what I write on every day. Then I have some secondary projects for when the characters in the primary are having a tiff with each other or with me…as it happens. If I am blocked on a chapter or on how to get the scene to play out the way the characters are wanting it to…then I switch to another project for a bit…the problem I encounter with playing a video game as a block breaker is the time management thing. I set aside x amount of time for writing. I have a hard time sticking to a time schedule with a game, because there is always one more thing to do.

      Comment by michelle sodaro — June 4, 2013 @ 2:56 pm | Reply

      • True enough, however, I’ve learned to do other things than logging into WoW because you’re right – there are so many blasted things to do and I have a ton of alts. I usually set a time limit as to how long I am going to “play” and blow that off readily – just takes some self-discipline to adhere to my own rules sometimes. Good luck with your writing.

        Comment by wowstorylines — June 4, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

      • yeah, I would log on to WoW just to “check my auctions” and then 6 hours later, I haven’t done my writing and I haven’t eaten. LOL…I have a list of all of my projects on my wall and when I get tempted to log in…I look at the list and get back to work. I have other distractions, but they are minor and I can have self-discipline with them 😀

        Comment by michelle sodaro — June 4, 2013 @ 4:43 pm


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