Distractions can be good. But only in the right measure. Sometimes I want to write but other activities get the best of me. In no particular order…
Books can distract me. Not my own, but rather, Reading novels that I find enthralling, that consume me, that prevent me from doing pretty much anything else. A few examples? Marian Keyes, Mhairi McFarlane, Tana French, Julia Quinn, and Beth O’Leary, among a few others. And when you’ve got a constantly growing list of books that you want to read, juggling two passions can be a challenge.
Something that becomes even more complicated when TV shows, movies, and documentaries are added to the equation. And YouTube videos. There’s so much I enjoy watching and I’m curious about, and it’s an activity that doesn’t always require the same focus—or even posture—as writing (and definitely not editing). So it’s quite easy to spend more time watching something than writing.
On a somewhat similar note, social media (namely Instagram) can make me lose track of time. You know what it’s like: you only mean to check out a photo or two and suddenly an hour’s gone by.
And then there’s researching.
Yes, it’s a part of the whole writing-editing-publishing process, but some resources can be a black hole. There’s always something that needs to be checked or researched, and my curiosity usually leads me on more tangents and articles. No matter how irrelevant they may seem when I remember what I was researching at first, getting lost looking at different facts can be quite entertaining—even if it is also a significant distraction.
A positive consequence of this particular “distraction” is that I may end up getting more ideas for other stories or characters’ backgrounds, or I may find more information to give a bit more depth or context to things.
And one final significant type of distraction is perhaps the best one of all—my social life. Meeting friends or family, Facetiming, chatting, calling someone…There’s more than one way in which my social life may take over, from regular catch-ups to surprise announcements that lead to spontaneous calls, getting in touch with loved ones is great. So, while I consider this a distraction, it has no negative connotation attached, as it’s always a more than welcome situation, no matter what I’m doing or trying to do.