Blogger: Michelle Ule
Sitting in for Janet Grant who is attending the International Christian Retail Show this week.
In the course of a professional writing life you have to write despite distractions.
I experienced that situation recently myself. A series of events in my personal life made it difficult to concentrate on the project I’m writing.
Eerily, some of the events in my life were feeling too close to what my characters were experiencing.
I couldn’t focus well.
I’ve got enough time in my deadline, I could slip a week if necessary, though I didn’t like it.
But, my family needed me and I needed them.
That does not mean I stopped the work, just the concentrated writing.
Here are six suggestions of things to do when distractions keep you from focusing on your current project.
Step away, perhaps, from the actual drafting, but not the writing life.
2. Hunt up pertinent and current research needs
In my case, I discovered a book online that would answer many of the questions I needed for the particular chapter I was currently writing.
I ordered the book and since it would take, even with fast transport, four days to arrive, I had time to focus on other things.
The book arrived today, I will read it tonight and tomorrow and am itching to get back to work.
3. Do auxiliary research for later.
I spent an entire day researching some of the obscure facts I could use for that chapter, but which were probably more pertinent to chapters coming.
I typed that information into its own pages, marked with the individual’s name, and now have a lot of backstory I can call up when the time is right.
I didn’t waste my time, I just aimed it in a different direct.
Finding that information, by the way, encouraged me that while I may not have been writing, I was working on my project.
4. Work on social media.
In the last four days, I have written–as of this post–fourteen blog posts for various websites.
I’ll write one more tomorrow.
They’re all scheduled and I don’t have to think about writing a blog for three weeks. That frees up lots of hours of writing going forward.
Once the distractions ease and I get back to work, I should be able to write straight through using that outline.
The time has not been wasted. I’ve just simplified things for myself.
6. Read a novel in your subject field.
Sometimes, you just don’t want to sit at the computer another hour.
Read something that is pertinent, but not research oriented, to your project.
I’ve read three such books in the last week.
They helped me with my issue, and one of them is going to be used as background information for this chapter I’m about to jump back into.
The crisis is past in my family–I think–I’m settling down. I’m just about ready to get back to work on my book.
I can hardly wait.
All it took was a little concentrated effort to get past the distractions.
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