Yes readers, I occasionally fall asleep whilst writing – the greatest procrastination of all!
Thinking about this subject, I realise that I have a massive list of what not to do whilst sitting down to write, so it’s probably easier to start there.
A first must in my mind is to steer clear of the internet and social media, as both can drain time and attention away from writing. I originally kept my laptop for writing, and my iPad for internet use. However, gradually the internet encroached on my laptop, giving me easy access to tools for procrastination – Twitter, Facebook, emails, researching on the web, and shopping.
But let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard to actually stay sitting at the computer. When working from home there are always other distractions, however tedious they may be, to lure you away. The washing machine needs emptying, the floor could do with a hoover, the casserole could be made in readiness for the evening meal, and the bed could do with being changed. The list is endless, as are the dull and boring chores.
Then there are the pleasant procrastination distractions. Having coffee or lunch with a friend, taking the dog for a walk, reading a novel, shopping, or catching up on recorded TV programmes. My husband took early retirement, so he is often a distraction. Point in case, I’m writing this and he’s just come over to me to show me a video clip of a dog smiling for the camera. All very sweet and cute, but I’m working. I long to have my own writing room, or for the clement weather to arrive so he’ll go fishing, even night fishing, so I can write until 2am if I so desire.
These hurdles affect us all in one way or another, and I doubt even the great writers of our time are immune to such adversities. I find having something to chew whilst writing aides my concentration. My choices range from dried mango, jelly babies and jelly beans, to cashew nuts and marshmallows. I know there is a scientific reason for this, something about the blood flow and oxygen to the brain, but I’m not going onto the internet to research that now, otherwise I might – no, will – get side-tracked.
I also surround myself with a freshly made coffee or tea – depending on the time of day – notepad and pens, snacks, and wip notelets, to minimise my need to leave the chair. If the environment is full of distractions, I put my iPod on and either listen to music, or just keep the headphones on to block out the noises, or remind others around me that I’m working. It doesn’t always work, mind you!
I think it’s best to acknowledge that procrastination and distraction will follow us to our seat, urging us to do anything other than write, and it’s our job to bat it to one side, fend it off with beguiling words and plotlines that entice us to stay rooted to our seat, long enough to write a few thousand words.
So harness your strength and determination, and just write, my friend, just write.
Happy Word Flow One & All