Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My 4 Biggest Distractions

No matter what purpose you have in life, no matter the one thing you want to do more than anything else, there are distractions that make you feel like you're a procrastinator.

For me, my one thing I want to get to each and every day is my writing, my passion. But life gets in the way sometimes and I don't always get to write one word, let alone 5,000. If I had to name just a few, my four biggest distractions that keep me from my goal are as follows, and that's not to say they aren't important because they all are:
  1. My day job. While I love what I do--I'm a paralegal--I oftentimes wonder what it would be like if I could just write for a living. Unfortunately, that's not feasible at present. You know the saying, love the one you're with if you can't be with the one you love? (I think that's a song). The same goes for the day job. I love being a paralegal and I'm very fortunate that in the slow hours, my boss doesn't mind me working on personal things. For instance, he's going to see this blog, I'm sure, and he's not going to lecture me for doing this on his time. So I consider myself very lucky to have a great boss. Work will always come first. He knows this and that's probably why he doesn't mind me doing this.
  2. Home life. I have a very activity household. I don't mind the busyness because I love my family. Even when household chores are done and the family is fed (not by me at lot, I have to confess), I find it hard to concentrate. I have a studio in the back that's not connected to our house and it's been my refuge. However, it's hot in there in the summer and cold in the winter. While I have equipment to adjust the temperature, it sometimes isn't enough. When it isn't, I  hole up in my room with my laptop and finally get some words down.
  3. Marketing. A necessary evil. I actually really enjoy marketing. It's an extension of the writing itself. No one will read what you have to say unless they know about you. But again, it does take time away from actually penning the next novel. A lot of time can be spent on social media, harvesting the crops, so to speak. Not to mention, blogging (like this), updating the website (oh, I updated mine again! - see, it's marketing), contacting and reading other blog sites, creating book trailers, and so on and so on. Some people hate that part, but like I said, I rather enjoy it.
  4. Social life. We all want and need friends, don't we? But they seem to fall by the wayside a lot. Authors are accused of being loners. Sometimes, it's not by choice. It's best to write alone, yes, but we all need to get out and actually be with real people instead of fictional characters. While I realize that sometimes our fictional characters are much more interesting and entertaining than some real people, it's not good to hide yourself away. How else can we get inspiring stories for a new novel?
While these are all distractions, they not necessarily bad. I have learned how to incorporate non-writing activities with the author part of my life. I guess the key is to find that balance. I usually do write something every day, which is what we should do. Sometimes, it's drivel and I throw it out, but other times, it's gold.

So, what's your one goal for today? Will you get to it? If you're a writer, go ahead and comment back. It could be what you write for the day! :)


TerriAnn said...


It's funny, balance, the concept is great and it's actually the perfect word, but the to do it. I think someone should teach a class. LOL Listen, go write that gold, the lucky one shave read it, the unlucky ones haven't gotten there yet. So if you're reading this and you haven't read Starr's books, check them out. She really is good!! Blessings.

Starr Reina said...

Thanks, Terri!

Diana Murdock said...

I could have written this post, Starr. I think as writers we all have these issues. Somehow time just slips by unnoticed. My solution, though not a good one, is I cut back on sleep with power naps. I have two speeds - fast and faster. What TerriAnn said - we need a class in the balance thing.

Starr Reina said...

Unfortunately, cutting back on sleep for me would not be a good idea. Ask my editor, she can always tell when I'm writing tired! :)

DJ said...

Starr, I totally know what you're talking about here. Even though I only work part time, there are still plenty of distractions at home - and no refuge to isolate myself from the constant conversation between husband and kids. This seems to be the rule - if you're in the room, you're part of the conversation regardless of the fact that you've positioned yourself away from the TV, in front of your own computer screen with headphones set high to block out any random question thrown your way... I love my family, but they are not writers and they will never understand how I see them as equivalent to distractions.

Starr Reina said...

It can certainly be challenging, but we authors love challenges, don't we?

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