Blogger: Michelle Ule
Sitting in for Rachelle
In the course of writing a book you often have to write with distractions demanding your attention.
It’s the nature of life in general, but sometimes unusual events intrude.
(Death, birth, fire, natural disasters, computer breakdown, flooding, for example.).
Having to deal with unexpected personal events can make it hard to concentrate on a writing project.
Here are five suggestions of how to write with unusual distractions
1. Recognize your fallibility and step way for a specific amount of time.
Step away from the actual writing.
If you’re in a crisis, your ability to concentrate and write well could suffer.
So, give yourself a break, particularly if your family needs you.
You can do other things besides write and still be available.
2. Hunt up pertinent and current research needs
In my personal case, I discovered a book answering many of the questions I needed for the particular chapter I was writing.
I read it.
Rather than try to work on my book, however, I simply took notes.
I thought about how to use the information in the current chapter.
But I didn’t work on that chapter!
I didn’t change or edit, either.
3. Do auxiliary research for later.
I researched online obscure facts about an auxiliary character I could use in the book.
It turned out, the facts were pertinent to several chapters.
I typed the information into a new document, titled it with the proper name, and had information for later use.
I didn’t waste my time, I just aimed it in a different direction.
Finding that information, by the way, encouraged me that while I may not have been writing, I was working on my project.
4. Schedule social media.
Some might argue that participating in social media always means writing with distractions!
During that awful week, I wrote blog posts.
I scheduled the posts and didn’t have to write posts for the next three weeks.
That freed up time to work on the real project, once distractions settled down.
5. Outline your current chapter.
I took all the research and quotations I needed for the chapter and placed them in a new document.
Once the distractions eased and I returned to actual work, I easily finished the chapter using that outline.
Because I was merely scribbling down ideas, I could break away to help the family whenever they needed me.
6. Read a novel in your subject field.
Novels incorporate emotions into a story. Sometimes when we’re in a fraught personal situation, we need to get lost in another life.
I read a novel that awful week that helped me during our family’s crisis.
The novel happened to be pertinent to my life and my book, which was personally helpful.
The end result?
Once our family’s crisis resolved, I took up the chapter again and quickly finished it.
I’d processed ideas and information during that week away from writing.
Unfortunately, I’d experienced a parallel situation in my protagonist’s life.
But I returned wiser, more sympathetic and better able to work.
And my family came through fine.
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