Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Murphy's Law of Distractions

Isn’t it one of those Murphy’s Laws – that as soon as set yourself to do a specific task, a thousand other things appear to pull you away? If ever there was a clear stumbling block for writers, this would be the most popular. Only the utmost dedicated and disciplined will be able to navigate through the distractions and make it to the finish line.

While we all have our own methods and practices, I’ve developed a personal routine to help minimize the distractions in my own writing life. Murphy continues to bombard me daily with new and inventive distractions, but that only gives me more opportunities to strengthen my resolve.

My Routine:

  • ·After I’ve exercised my body, spent time in prayer to nurture my spirit, I then enter my office, close the door (to keep out pets and other family members), and fire up my synapses by writing on my daily blog. Before I begin, I close my email program, silence my phone and log off all internet browsers. Nothing causes more distractions than an email or Facebook notification popping up on screen in the middle of creation.
  • ·Next, I allow myself a block of time to interface, post, market, network, promote, communicate, and surf the internet. In other words …do the ‘business’ part of being a full time writer.
  • ·Then I usually break for lunch. At this time I leave the office (this is important to catch my second wind) to eat, perhaps exercise and read a little bit of my current book, talk to a friend, or sometimes take a little nap.
  • ·The next stage is VERY important, and usually the hardest part: I re-enter my office, check my emails, check my social networks, check my blogs, but for only for a limited time. THEN, I must CLOSE them all off again, and put my fingers to the keyboard and allow my gift to shift into gear to labor on my current WIP (Work In Progress).
  • ·The last stage, which I think is most important – about 4-5pm, I cease being writer, author, entrepreneur and become wife, mother and friend. It is of the utmost importance that we don’t live our lives in our work, but bring a balance to the whole. In order to effectively write about life, we need to live it. To effectively write about relationships, we need to have them. To effectively write about overcoming, falling, picking ourselves back up, making mistakes, or learning important life lessons, we have to experience them. Find what works for you.

Please keep in mind, even though we set up a productive routine for our lives, we must remain flexible. Life happens when it happens, and it doesn’t care for the schedules we make for ourselves. There is no “Writer’s Hell” waiting for us if we bend the rules from time to time, or get off schedule to deal with life. However, and this is KEY to being productive and getting those projects checked off your list, we MUST be self-disciplined and self-dedicated to get back on schedule as soon as possible. Writer’s MUST be self-motivated and self-reliant. Only ‘we’ can write what we were meant to write and the responsibility of production remains with us.

What is your schedule like? Do you wonder why you just can’t finish that novel you’ve been working on for years? You might find the problem is in your routine.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

No comments:

Post a Comment