- The Bachelor/Bachelorette (my personal tv fix)
- Phone call
- Modern Family
- youtube – aww, cute barfing alien baby!
- Video games
- Go to mall
- Blog – cookies, yum! Not that I can make any
- Blog – this one! (but hey, this shouldn’t count – right?)
The list could keep going. After all, we are all warriors fighting a great war against everything – TV, the internet, friends, family, you name it.
Like I said, the list is never ending….especially for a writer wannabe (who works from home – the ultimate distraction!)
Now, here’s some good news about distractions: they are actually a good thing if you plan them right. For several of us writers, there might be days when you feel robotically inclined to do nothing but work. Me? I do have those days but there does come a point when all that creative energy starts to flush down the toilet a bit…the point that is otherwise known as ‘writer’s block’. A burnout. And yes, Writing is SUPPOSED TO BE CREATIVE! More on writer’s block in another post.
I know, I know…I did say this was a post on how to ‘avoid’ distractions. But for now, here are some things that are currently working for me and some that several working screenwriters also use. I will be posting more details about some of these points in future posts. I would love to hear feedback from you guys on anything that did/didn’t work:
• Wake up early (I am not a late night worker unless I am pressed for deadlines, but this has literally saved my life!)
• Set a routine/ schedule (Helped me immensely – even if you are not a ‘schedule-my-life-not-that-robotic’ kind of person)
• Give yourself rewards/motivations. If you are going to get distracted, try distractions which help you write better aka. reading a great screenplay/novel. You should be doing that anyway if you want to be a screenwriter.
• Go workout. I am no workout junkie, but nothing better to get all that blood in your brain pumping and rearing to go before you get into it. Or better yet, take a walk. Successful screenwriters like Ron Bass, Robin Swicord, Leslie Dixon do it too!
• Remember it’s a job – and you are a writer. The beautiful thing about writing is once you get into it, it really is the ultimate distraction if you are passionate about it.
• Set goals and deadlines. Time yourself. Be judicious with it. One thing that works for me is I intentionally rush through things. Sometimes you just can’t rush art – but the thing about writing is that you can always rewrite. That’s the point. (btw, this doesn’t mean I always get things done on time…but tricking your brain does help in getting things moving).
• Be a two-timer. Work on another project. Seriously. Here’s a case in point: I slaved on one project, one for YEARS and then going nowhere, finally put it away, and took a break from writing (another post on that another time). Then I restarted it and also started working on a second project and voila –
• Internet, your frenenemy? I use a mac. Self-timing apps like ‘freedom’ and ‘selfcontrol’ work great or you can do the simple thing and turn off your network, but I didn’t trust myself enough so I went for the apps instead. Low-cost or free.
• Go take a nap. I am a napless zombie, but especially if you are stuck, this might help rather than hurt. Sometimes you need to just hit your brain’s off-switch so it resets.