Distractions come in many sizes and shapes. And on different days, I'm bothered by different things. My distractions can be anything from household responsibilities, to day job deadlines looming, to extended family complications, to just plain stubbornness.
Let's face it, some days it's just hard to write. Our heart isn't in it. Writers don't like to talk about that much. If I find myself becoming distracted, I try to figure out why. If the reason is valid, I decide how I will deal with that problem. For instance, a sister who needs help buying a car will get a phone call after my writing time is up. Once I know I have a plan for real problems, then I can get my head back into writing.
If the problem is more insidious, like an unhappy muse or I've written myself in a corner, then I try something different. For me, this involves motion. I can talk a walk or a bike ride. I can vacuum the house. Any sort of physical activity that doesn't involve sitting at the keyboard. I give myself an hour or two away. When I come back, I feel fresher, and more times than not, my unconscious brain has been working on the problem the whole time.
For the days when that fails, and this doesn't happen very often, then I will truly indulge myself in an arts and crafts fest. Maybe I'll work on my story collage, snipping pictures and displaying them on a board that will give me a story visual. Other worthwhile distractions are journal entries for my characters. Oftentimes I'll discover new information about my character and this will help me be less distracted because I know my "people" better.
With my crazy schedule, I have limited writing time. I have lists and use them to help prioritize my day. Because I understand that being distracted cuts into my precious writing time, I tend to guard it zealously. My longterm goal is to continue being a writer. To do that, I must write.
Sounds simple, doesn't it? Real life is messy. When life happens, forget all of the above and live first. Then come back to writing as soon as you can.
No Second Chance, coming from The Wild Rose Press 12/28/07