Distraction is a bad word in creativity.
Funny thing to wrap your head around really. Distractions can be fun, healthy and at the same time the bane of any artist who is trying to be productive with their time. I am an artist like that, you see.
I spend my time in-between distractions and bouts of creativity. It SUCKS!
What I would love would be for me to wake up at 5am and be productive for, let’s say, six to eight hours straight. Like any normal job.
I go into my Fortress of Solitude (aka my office) and sit at my KITT-lookalike computer and type away. I have my coffee on my desk, settle in, and begin my work for the day. My work in this case being writing my current manuscript. That’s the ideal. I would work on it like you would any other job.
Except that’s not how my stupid mind works.
Okay, I’m being harsh here. But the truth is, we all work differently. I know some writers who can be laser-focused for hours on end and not be distracted at all. Now when I talk about distractions, I’m not just talking about opening your internet browser and checking the latest social media posts or watching videos on YouTube, I’m also talking about writing a paragraph of your manuscript and then pausing to stare into space for 15 minutes or more.
I would think up a scene, write up 45% of it and then get carried away in my thoughts with the emotions and the scene and NOT write the damn thing. Half an hour would pass before I know it and then frustration kicks in because
I try to re-create what I was thinking but I have lost the feeling. It’s gone. Dissipated into thin air.
Like right now.
Seriously, five minutes passed since I wrote that last paragraph. How insane is that? But that’s me. That’s how my mind works. I might have a condition or I might just be built that way. I don’t know. But here’s a little positive nugget for you if you’re in the same situation as me:
I can still finish a manuscript.
I know because I have finished short stories before. I have finished full-length novels before. I can still get to that damn scary finish line. It just takes a bit of time. But you know what else?
The more I write, the more I purposefully sit at my desk to iron out my writing practice, the better I get at getting back into writing.
Take this blog post for example, it is close to 10PM and I decided to write this on a bit of a whim. I thought to myself: Dude, you have not written much today, how about you write a blog post? Do it. Do it now. Don’t think about it.
Just freakin’ do it.
And here I am now, wrapping up this post. I can be extremely harsh on myself and I can often allow self-doubt plague the hell out of me but ultimately I want to write. I want to write stories and share them and I need to remember that, even on my awful days.
So, if you are in the same situation where you don’t think you can do it, shake it off and remember why you do what you do. Boil it down to the one sentence, to the one mantra you can recite to yourself when things get bleak.
I want to be more productive with my writing and with my time dedicated to writing. This is why I do the #5AMWritersClub on Twitter, this is why I set-up my Fortress of Solitude and this is also why I write blog posts. No matter what, I want to write something, anything, at least once per day. Whether it is to progress my manuscript or to dig into my mind and figure out what the hell I want to say.
I want to be better.
I’ll keep working hard at it and know that hard work always pays off.