Writers are in an arms race with the world. Expect to go early and often to the peace talks if you are anything like me and hope to get anywhere.
The pull on anyone’s time is substantial. Jobs, children, significant others, family and friends are important but can also be part of the arsenal arrayed against you. For me, the worst weapons of mass distraction are those that live on the periphery of writing: blogs, Twitter, Skype, research.
Lots of creative types will tell you that solitude and time are key to a creatively productive life. They are correct, but let’s get real. The best we can do is eliminate as many distractions as possible and learn to create around, in, and through the rest.
Here is a small sampling of the distractions in my own writing life (that are within my control):
- Television (I had to give it up)
- Facebook (I avoid it as much as possible)
- Twitter (I don’t keep it open and must be strict about the time I spend there).
- Research (still in peace talks for this one)
- Internet (got any recommendations for 12-step programs centered on deviantart, morguefile, and flickr?)
- Skype with writer friends
I can hear the question now: Don’t you need an online presence for when you publish?
It sure helps, and two of the agents on my short list won’t represent anyone without an online home. However, having a blog or great facebook personality or thousands of twitter followers does me no good if they take so much time that I can’t get my novels written, revised, polished, and submitted.
I’m not superwoman. I’m just a writer and I’d rather write than do anything else. It makes me an aggressive negotiator at the peace talks and keeps my priorities firmly in place. Unless, of course, I’m procrastinating those edits on my desk. Now, where was I? Oh yes, “research” on Google….