Distractions-The Bane Of Every Writer

Roses August 2012 003
These past few weeks have been an insane jumble of teaching full-time, marketing, blogging, and promoting for the release of Highlander’s Hope, attempting to keep up with my housework, and still find time to workout. Oh, and spring is always a bit of a stretch for me because the yard demands my attention. I have an acre, and three quarters of it is manicured lawn and flower beds. The roses and other flowers are quite cross at my neglect right now.
Roses August 2012 004
I’ve also been trying to reciprocate for those amazing authors who were so generous to read and post a review of Highlander’s Hope when it released. This means most evenings I’m reading a romance novel, not that that’s bad! But it is one more thing that keeps me from writing after I’ve worked all day.

For a couple of years I’ve been grumbling a bit to the hubby about the size of our yard and the amount of work it takes to maintain it, which primarily falls on me. I did eliminate the vegetable garden this year, as well as the dozens and dozens of potted and hanging plants I usually have. I miss them, but I don’t miss the work it takes to care for them. I didn’t even plant tomatoes or peppers in the barrels this spring. I don’t watch TV. (Okay, I confess to watching Duck Dynasty occasionally during dinner. But since I rarely cook anymore, my TV viewing is very infrequent.)

Hubby’s getting to be a pretty good cook. Messy though.

Still my writing has suffered. I wanted to have my third book finished by now. I’m almost 26,000 words into it. It’s supposed to be 75,000-80,000 words. I don’t work during the summer (except for in the energy and time-scarfing yard) so I’ll have it finished easily by mid-summer.

I’m being optimistic here…. Positive thinking and all that.

Truthfully, though it’s the other distractions that suck my writing time into the vortex of wasted time. Twitter, Facebook, and responding to blogs can gobble up half an hour before I realize it. Then the dogs require my attention.

And there’s an insurance form that needs completing. Oh, look at that hummingbird (goldfinch, northern flicker, junco … add the bird of your choice). And that squirrel hanging upside down from the feeder; isn’t it cute?
(By-the-way, this last bit is not supposed to be underlined, nor is it a link but I’m not tech savvy enough to figure out what the blazes I did to cause it. I’ve wasted thirty minutes trying to figure it out. Don’t you dare laugh!)
CSC_0244 Humming bird at feeder

Ayva, my mini doxie, has her nose stuck in her plastic hamburger. I gotta run and grab my camera for a quick photo before I rescue her. I dash in to the den to grab the camera, and my gaze falls on the desk. Whoops, forgot to send my nephew his graduation card and check. So, I quickly write the check and address the card. While I’m at it, I might as well pay a bill or two.

By that time, Ayva’s got the hamburger off her snout, but Lina (hubby’s Labrador pup) is running across the backyard with my rubber boot in her mouth. I charge out the door and chase her around the yard before snatching it from her. Only a couple dozen punctures in the rubber. It’s salvagable. On my way back to the house, I notice the bird feeders are empty. Naturally, I have to fill them. I might as well sweep the patio and porch while I’m at it. Are those potted herbs a bit dry? Of course they are. I water them. Hubby forgot to put the lawn, patio chairs, and benches back where they belong after mowing.

I couldn’t possibly concentrate on my writing knowing they aren’t in their proper places. I conscientiously return them to their assigned spots.

I finally get back into the house, and before dutifully heading to my overly decorated shabby chic writing room, I put a load of clothes into the dryer and another into the washer. Gads, is that a cobweb hanging from the cupboard above the dryer? Cobweb hunting commences. After an embarrassingly successful venture, I decide to pour a cup of coffee to take upstairs with me. I’m not going to let another thing keep me from my goal of 1000 words today! Did I mention I originally planned on writing 2500 words? I open the fridge to get some crème brulee creamer. Drat. Something dripped on one of the shelves. . . .

And so it goes.

It’s been suggested to me that perhaps I’m a bit obsessive compulsive and not just a little ADD. I can’t imagine why anyone would suggest such a thing.

So, am I alone in this? (Crossing my fingers you say, “No.” ) Do you get distracted from your writing? By what?

About Collette Cameron

USA Today Bestselling, award-winning author, COLLETTE CAMERON pens Scottish and Regency historicals, featuring rogues, rapscallions, rakes, and the intelligent, intrepid damsels who reform them. Blessed with fantastic fans as well as a compulsive, over-active, and witty Muse who won’t stop whispering new romantic romps in her ear, she lives in Oregon with her mini-dachshunds, though she dreams of living in Scotland part-time. You'll always find dogs, birds, occasionally naughty humor, and a dash of inspiration in her sweet-to-spicy timeless romances®.
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7 Responses to Distractions-The Bane Of Every Writer

  1. lynncahoon says:

    Some days I just tell myself I have to open the word document. That’s all. Just open, and poke around a bit. Then I can talk myself into writing a few words.

    Working full time – I can write 1000 words a day, but I have to be very focused to get more than that on a weekday.

  2. I know. I do substitute teaching to keep my boat afloat and now that school is out you would think….(I haven’t written near what I would have expected.) BTW cute dogs.

  3. I do best by giving myself a weekly word count goal. That way if I fall short on one day I know I still have several more to make up the words by week’s end. However, gotta remind you that you DO work in the summer–besides the outdoor tasks–you WRITE during the summer months. When I read this line in the fifth paragraph of your post “I don’t work during the summer (except for in the energy and time-scarfing yard) so I’ll have it finished easily by mid-summer” my breath caught.in my throat. Writing is your business, and you must give your craft its due. That could be one reason you find yourself not writing when you know you need to do so.

    Good post.


  4. kathybryson says:

    Sometimes I think the only way my house gets clean is when I’m trying to avoid writing or grading papers! But inevitably I think of something really good and go running back to the computer, leaving the laundry wet, the dishes soaking, and one room vacuumed with everything from the floor still piled on the bed. Beautiful roses!

  5. helenscribe says:

    Wonderful post. I get distracted by all of the above and I don’t even HAVE a yard and dogs. What gets me snookered every time is emails and social networks that have something about writing in them, so of course I have to interact in case I miss something vital to my quest.Good comment, Joanie. The trick of course is:(repeat after me) I am a writer who writes.

  6. LOL. Sorry, Collette, I’m laughing-hard. Except for the 5 dogs, I can so identify with this. The garden, the laundry, the cobwebs and dust bunnies, the marketing, and for me the traveling (which I will not give up) are such distractions, and I don’t even have a full-time job. Makes me wonder how I ever wrote a book. Oh, wait, I used to be an insomniac. Guess that must be the key. Loved this blog!

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