It’ll come as a surprise to absolutely no one that knows me when I say that I have the attention span of a gnat. I do. It’s a problem. And all of my iDevices have only made it worse. I feel like if I’m not multi-tasking by plays that stupid Dots game (or WordBubbles) while watching TV while also checking out Twitter than I’m just not stimulated enough.
This can make writing a challenge at times. Especially when I’m just looking at a screen and thinking, “Who are these people talking to me in my head? Should I get a psyche eval? Will my insurance cover it?” I easily get distracted. I invested $15.00 into Anti-Social to prevent me from getting on my biggest time sucks when I’m supposed to be writing. I’ve used Freedom but I like Anti-Social better because I can still use the internet if I need to look up something. The problem is, I’m the only one that can turn these things on.
I’ve found that if I can commit to 30 minute blocks then I do best. A small reward for each 30 minute sprint usually helps. I really enjoy Written? Kitten! for some cute incentives. Or I’ll promise myself things like more chocolate or a five minute Twitter break… or if it’s a particularly hard day that new song on iTunes (or the ability to buy something later when you get stuck at Dots). This helps me keep moving.
It’s not that I don’t want to write, I do, but I just have to make myself focus and put the words on the paper. I’m a pseudo-pantser (as in I only sort of have an outline for my stories). I try a skeleton outline or ((I just spent 10 minutes reading an article on a little boy who is the oldest of five sisters- you know ’cause it’s relevant to what I write (no it’s not))) something like that.
I also need to be in a place where I can write and not worry about a ton of distractions. I’ve found that writing somewhere other than my house is the best place for me. If I’m at home I think about the laundry or it’s the one time my toddler doesn’t take an epically long nap. So, I write at my church a lot (it’s also where my toddler goes to preschool so it maximizes my time), or the library.
Where do you write? Do you have tricks for dealing with the distractions of life (or the internet)?