Top 10 Distractions from Writing

WritingHow many times do you sit down, start to write and get distracted? Every day at least six times a day.

At least that’s what it is for me.

I keep telling people it’s like I have adult ADHD. I can’t sit still for the life of me.

As soon as I sit down, I think of something I need to do, like laundry or feeding my pets or calling my mom.

Not that any of those are bad, but when they stand in my way of getting words down on the page, they are.

Maybe it’s a lack of concentration? Maybe it’s simply a lack of focus or how about procrastination?

Whatever it is I need to do better at forcing myself to sit down and write.

But what keeps me from writing? What keeps you from writing?

1. Young children

I’ve been a single mom for over twelve years. I’ve been a writer during those years so I know how hard it can be if you’re a mom and trying to write.

Younger children, such as babies, toddlers and preschoolers demand quite a bit of time. Of course, they would. They can’t do things for themselves yet.

Sometimes you can get children a little older than them to play by themselves or to watch television or a DVD. However, that usually doesn’t last long.

2. Television

Sometimes the worst distraction for me is TV. I have certain shows, like Chicago Fire or The Voice that I can’t and absolutely refuse to miss.

Whether I have done my writing for the day doesn’t matter. I watch that TV show.

Of course, the guilt sets in because I haven’t done my writing. I get mad at myself. But I have no one to blame but myself.

3. Social media

One of the worst distractions for me is social media. Facebook eats up so much of my time.

I’m one of those who tells myself I’m checking Facebook for ten minutes and then getting to work. Two hours later I am finally writing.

Sound familiar?

4. Household chores

We always have something we could be doing around the house, especially if you have kids or pets. Houses don’t stay clean all by themselves.

Cleaning the house could be an every day thing so we have to make sure it doesn’t distract us too much.

5. Pay bills

All of us have monthly bills for various things. Some you have to pay or they either foreclose or shut off, like the house or utility bills.

While you do need to pay the bills, writing time is not the time.

6. Unexpected company

As a writer, I need to be better at telling people this is my writing time. In fact, I probably should set up “business” hours so people know when not to disturb me.

However, that seems weird to me because I’m in my own home.

7. Not enough time

Lacking time is an excuse. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard someone say, “If you are a writer, write.”

I’m finally getting to the point where I can actually tell others I am a writer.

You can always find a few minutes here and there to do some writing. Parts of this were written on my phone when I had a few minutes.

If you need help with this, I suggest the book by Katharine Grubb called Write a Novel in 10 Minutes a Day.

8. Undisciplined

Writing needs routine. When you think about it, if you do something as part of a routine, you do it all the time.

I am trying to be better about this. I joined the 365K Club at the beginning of the year. My goal is to write 1000 words a day. However, sometimes I don’t always get that done, if anything.

9. Lack of motivation

This distraction goes along with the previous one and gets me every time.

I work two part-time jobs outside the home some days so that creates a long day for me. I don’t always feel like writing.

And depression doesn’t help. Although I’ve been told writing helps your depression.

I do know writing down my thoughts and feelings always makes me feel better. It makes sense that writing helps with depression.

10. Too much noise

For some people, noise helps you. I remember needing music to help study when I was in high school and college. I couldn’t stand a quiet room because the other noises distracted me even more than the music.

For others complete silence is needed. I only need complete silence when I’m editing.
I would say several of these keep me from writing on a daily basis. I am working on getting better about not letting them.

What distracts you from writing? What do you do to keep them from doing so?

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