Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In which I am distracted...

Do any of you ever get affected by the "d-word?" You know, distractions. With a capital D. Kids, moving, books, Dancing with the Stars--oh wait, I mean, um... I know. I actually watched a TV show. (Those of you who know me, understand that this is seriously rare.)There's this lovely invention that seems to be forcing me to go to bed late. It's called a TiVO or DVR or something. It records shows and you can watch them whenever you want. Brilliant, right?

No. Evil. It. Is. Evil.

I had to make a decision a couple years ago when I got serious about writing and getting published on how to spend my (rare) free time. I have young children, and a husband who (shockingly, I know) actually likes when I pay attention to him. Not to mention pets (a maltese who is unfortunately getting up in years and a goldfish named CottonCandy who is never going to die, I swear). Then there are the bills, housework, laundry, driving kids to preschool/lessons/checkups/etc. Oh, how the list goes on and on. Sometimes I find myself sitting next to my kids writing on my laptop while they play, or while the baby is napping and the older one zones out to PBS sprout. Mother of the year award? I own it. Or not. I try to do my best, but isn't it strange that the moments where I should be focusing on my kids, I'm totally distracted wanting to write? Then, at the end of the day when I should be writing, I'm totally distracted by wanting to read or watch DWTS, or wishing I had played a little bit longer with my kids?

So what does this have to do with boxes that sit on top of your TV and record the shows? They are distractions. It was easy for me to not watch TV when I never was able to sit down and watch it while it was on anyway. But now... ah, now I can record it and watch it later. I need to be honest. I don't have a problem focusing on writing when I'm immersed in a new project, or have a revision needing to be done. But there are certain things I have a hard time making myself focus on. For example, today I'm supposed to be writing my synopsis for book 2 of the one my agent is *hopefully* going to be pitching in about a month or so. I keep staring at that blank page on the computer, or the somewhat legible notes I've scrawled in my notebook on where I want the plot to go, and I'm drawing a big fat blank. I need to focus, and get this done. But instead, I want to go watch Maxsim tear off his shirt--uh, I mean, dance again. I can, you know. Since it's recorded, all I have to do is push play.

Or maybe Derek. He's fun to watch, too. Does anyone else wonder who their partner would be if they got all uber-famous and went on this show? No? Okay, nevermind. Anyway, so I want to go watch it again because--

Oh, wait. I better get to work instead.
How do you deal with distractions?


Trav said...

TiVO is great! If you plan on watching DWTS, then watch it and ENJOY IT! We all need a "little" variety. I'm just glad you don't have a laundry list of shows you gotta have. That makes for more time for me :) j/k- all things in moderation right? It's all about dedicating the time.

When dedicating chunks of time to your writing, apart from reducing distractions, something else happens too. You'll find you get into a flow, or a rhythm and you'll accomplish much more and much faster than you usually do. The difference can be so dramatic that it can almost seem like magic.

Natalie Whipple said...

Well, I don't have Tivo or whatever. I actually don't have TV...but I still get distracted a lot. By Hulu, hehe.

I've found it's best to bribe myself with distractions. Like, "I can watch 3 episodes of Bleach if I write 500 words." Or "I'm not allowed on Twitter until I finish this page." Or something like that.

But sometimes I've found it's good to just chill out, too. After I've finished a Big Project, I take a few weeks off and let myself be lazy. Then I get so tired of being lazy I'm excited to work again.

Lola Sharp said...

I LOVE my TiVO, but I don't watch DWTS. Sometimes my favorite shows pile up for weeks until I find time to watch them.
There aren't many shows I watch, but here is what I record: Masterpiece, Castle, Jon Stewart's Daily Show, Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, Supernatural, True Blood.

The one show I used to watch faithfully and never waited to watch was Gilmore Girls. Alas, it is long gone. I miss the Stars Hollow crew.

What distracts me from my writing more often than TV ever could is BLOGGING! Visiting and leaving comments on all my favorite bloggy friends blogs (not the posting on my own blog part...that's fast and easy.) takes up a lot of my time, but I just can't resist! :)

Carolyn V. said...

LOL! I have to just sit myself down and remind myself that some things can wait. It's not easy, but it works.

Elana Johnson said...

I'm distracted all the time. I love the fact that I can record shows and watch them later. That way, I can still write when I want and watch my shows. And I watch a lot of them.

For me, I have to have distractions. My mind is always buzzing, and sometimes I just need something mindless to do. Games, TV, whatever. Then I feel like when I'm writing, I'm actually focused. So focused.

Tahereh said...

oh those nasty little buggers. distractions come at you in fancy, pretty forms you don't even realize are distractions until it's too late!!

honestly, i don't even know how i deal with them. i don't think i do? i think my love of writing is often my distraction actually -- it distracts me from everything else. so maybe my problem is a little opposite? hehe

by the way, congrats on landing an agent!! i'm wishing you the best of luck with your writing, as well as the submission process!!


have a great weekend!!

Sara B. Larson said...

Trav - thanks for commenting hon, and for the support and advice. I love it when I find out my hubby pays attention to my blog! :-)

Natalie - Oooh, hulu. When I have fast enough internet, that is a big temptation for sure. Bribing myself sounds like a good idea, I'll have to try that! If I finish this synopsis by tomorrow night I will... Hmm...

Lola - Oh, I loved GG too! The banter on that show was awesome.

Carolyn - very good advice, as always. :-)

Elana - When I'm in the writing zone, I definitely stay focused. But I know what you mean about having so many distractions--and it being a good thing sometimes.

Tahereh - Thanks for commenting! Writing is definitely a distraction for me, too--when I should be doing dishes, or cleaning something else up, or making dinner... he he