Writing Problems: Oh, the Distractions

Focusing is HARD. Getting my mind to zero in on one thing at a time is difficult – just look at me now: I should be working on my independent study assignment, but I’m writing a blog post while also refreshing Twitter every few seconds. Too many distractions can pull me away from my writing entirely, and something that should take me 30 minutes doesn’t get done for hours.

This isn’t advice on how to avoid these distractions, this is a list of those things that keep from doing what needs to get done.


I love my family, and I certainly love my fiance. But oh my god, leave me alone. I’ll be doing well, writing out a good scene, and Pat will come in to see how I’m doing. Or my mother will call up to say hi. There’s a reason that, while I lived with my parents, I did all my writing at night.


In his memoir On Writing Stephen King advises against even owning a television. And it’s true, a writer really shouldn’t have cable. But oh dear do I love TV. I’ll watch Daily Show repeats and CNN, and reruns of Boy Meets World in the morning when I should be getting some reading done. And even if we didn’t have cable, there’s Netflix Instant, and with shows like Dexter and The Office that’s a real time-suck, too.

The Internet

That’s a big one. I’d list everything that distracts me online, but that would take too long. Twitter, Facebook, webcomics, Gmail, Twitter again… it’s unending. I have a program to turn off the Internet for me, but well…I don’t always exactly use it…

Everything Around Me

Really, what’s not a distraction? I have chores to do, I work in a room packed to the brim with my favorite books, there are video games I want to play, there’s a bird hopping around on our deck…

My attention is a slippery thing that can not be held, and honestly I don’t know how I get anything done.

Oh hey, new posts on Twitter…

4 thoughts on “Writing Problems: Oh, the Distractions

  1. I guess the advantage to having a 9-5 desk job is that I am at a computer for 40 mandatory hours a week. So, Facebook and Twitter aren’t as amusing at home. And things like cleaning? Who needs to do that? You should be avoiding those things at all costs!

    I guess my point is that they make ADD drugs for a reason.

    • I kind of avoided the whole cleaning thing for a while in favor of working, and we had mold in our shower. So. Plus you can only bash your head into the keyboard so many times before you realize that getting up and moving around is a better option.

  2. The funny thing, I started a blog in order to focus my efforts. I thought if I declare what I’m doing and stick to a schedule I’d get more done. Then I started twitter, and then checking the blogs…slippery slope!! So many interesting things out there…so little time.

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