Dealing With Distraction

I'm distracted from my writing this morning, for the following reasons: Skull-light-lightbulb-39846-l

1.  My beloved pug's health problems.

2.  The earthquake in Japan.

3.  The ensuing tsunami watch on the Oregon coast (gotta watch those one-foot storm surges).

4.  Thoughts about the show I'm going to attend tonight.

5.  Things I gotta do, like finish organizing the closet I started working on Monday.

So, what's a person to do?  How do you deal with distraction?

Here are my best tips: Create containers and use the power of your subconscious.  The two actually go hand in hand.

There are lots of ways to create containers, be it making a file for a new client, or buying a new journal to write in.  But there are more subtle ways to think of this, too.  For instance, when I have a project to work on the next day, I pull out everything that I have on it.  Files, notes, research I've done, whatever.  Or, just this morning I decided to work downstairs in the dining room so that my ailing pug doesn't follow me up the steps, which is hard on her.  So I gathered up my computer, my to-do list, and all the various spirals and legal pads I need in order to work.  I'm creating a container for my work day.

And this is very much related to utilizing your subconscious.  Seeding it with thoughts about your project is effective because it will go to work once you let it know what you're going to write about.  This morning I gathered up all my notes and spirals, set up in the dining room, and then took a shower.  All that time my subconscious was working–even on this blog post.

Dealing with distraction is also easier if you have the habit of writing regularly.  Because then your little brain is already working away on ideas for your novel and if crazy world and personal events pull you away from your writing, there's still that connection.  Its easier to get back to it when the distractions are done.

Oh, and by the way, if distraction threatens to overwhelm you, maybe you need help.  I offer writing and creativity coaching, which can be enormously helpful in getting on track.   I also offer Get Your Writing in Gear sessions, and they happen to be on special.  Its a March Madness sale, through this month, with $50 off, bringing the cost of the session to $100.  Book now!

So, tell me–how do you deal with distraction?

Photo by dakinewavamon, from Everystockphoto.



4 Responses to Dealing With Distraction

  1. Suzanne 03/11/2011 at 11:51 #

    WARNING! This comment is nothing but a distraction!

    So sorry to read you have an ailing pug, Charlotte. Hope he/she (which one is it?) is feeling up to snuff again soon. Our German Shepherd is having ACL $urgery today. Will be laid up for quite a while.

  2. Charlotte Dixon 03/11/2011 at 13:09 #

    Thanks, Suzanne. Ally, the ailing pug, has two heart problems–one is congenital and the other is congestive heart failure. The cardiologist was amazed that she is 7 or 8 (we’re unsure due to her being a rescue) and said that most dogs who have this only make it to age 3. So she’s living on borrowed time. I’m just glad I’m getting some of it, she’s a sweetie. I hope your German Shepherd recuperates fast and easily! And yeah, I hear you, vet care is expensive. But we love our babies so much its worth it.

  3. Regina Linton 03/11/2011 at 20:46 #

    Distractions are everywhere and they consume us all the time. I am overwhelmed right now with distractions from my writing but am about to take a vacation to recharge in a week and pull myself together and get centered once again to regain control of my writing. You have some really great ideas for getting back on track. Thanks for the post.

  4. Charlotte Dixon 03/12/2011 at 08:51 #

    Regina, a vacation is a great way to get away from distraction. In our crazy busy society, we don’t do that often enough. A couple years ago, when we were going on a trip to Santa Fe, people kept asking “what for?” When I said just for a vacation they were surprised. It was so funny, now even travel has to have a purpose.

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