Oh, I Juggle!

Home, Family, Success, Peace… Can a woman really have it all?

Writing with Distractions

I like to write with as little distraction as possible. That is one of the primary reasons I decided to become an early riser. No other part of the day can have the calm and stillness of predawn. At 4 am I am in no rush to enter the kitchen and start breakfast and pack lunches. I know I still have a few hours to myself before I need to meet the day head on.

What defeats the purpose of waking up early is the internet. It constantly beckons me. And I give in. Just for five minutes, I promise myself. I check mail and some of the blogs that I follow. And soon the five minutes turn into twenty. Some time back, I created a fan page on Facebook. I am not calling it that, Facebook does. I certainly don’t qualify for fans. Yet. I have clearly chosen ‘writer’ not ‘author’. I have also created a Twitter account. These have added to my morning distractions. Now I check mail, my blog stats, Twitter and see if there are any new ‘likes’ for my FB page. And just like magic two hours vanish and I haven’t made a dent in my word count target.

Sad, because once the day starts I have other, bigger distractions. Ones I cannot choose to avoid. The biggest is the baby, who is now officially a toddler. He has many things to say to me and doesn’t like being ignored. My beautifully organised plans and lists don’t have a chance if the little one decides that he needs to be carried all the time.

Focus is key to getting anything done and writing is no different. I am disciplining myself to have just one word document open while I write. Even checking the dictionary interrupts the flow. I have left that for the second draft. Sometimes the right word doesn’t come to mind. I just describe it and move on. It is so important for me to just get the flesh and bones done first. If the structure is stable, refinement will only be easier.

I now have to figure out some writing discipline for the blog. Dear blogger friends, How do you plan your posts? When do you write?



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10 thoughts on “Writing with Distractions

  1. Your account of distractions sounded very familiar. 🙂

    I normally write during my lunch break or at night after my day’s work is over. I try to post twice a week and also try to alternate a short post with a long one. I usually work on a draft for 2-3 days and then it is feverish activity on the day I plan to post. I plan my posts for a month in the sense that there will be something on travel, a book review or two, something on music, etc. — all that I write about in my blog. Some posts are planned well in advance, while some just happen.

    I dream of day when I will have a bank of posts and I can review and edit them leisurely before I post them. But I am happy to be writing after having been through severe writer’s block earlier this year!

    • There is a kind of balance in your posts that I really admire and hope I can achieve some day. I also dream of writing on schedule and posting at regular intervals. Just a dream still.

  2. For me also, early morning works. Internet does beckon but I make it a point to not open up the browser at all unless I have done something substantially.

    I have more of a flash bulb moment in terms of posts. When the idea strikes, I immediately note it and then work on it in the morning.

  3. My dear father had trained me well for the heavenly morning hours, what he referred to as the brahma-muhurta and which implied you hit the bed early, but my years in the university hostel irrevocably transformed me into a night-owl. The problem with the morning hours is the eminent threat of the day crashing into the middle of a fine stream of writing. The night, on the other hand, allows me to go on and on albeit with the occasional side effect of walking around groggy the following day.

    Then I hate planning for the posts as it often turns out into unsatisfactory output. At times I sit down and try to capture the idea that has been hanging precariously to mind’s ledges. Occasionally, I am spurred by a fleeting impulse and it usually turns out well. However, discipline is a must if one is planning to write seriously.

    • Have always loved the brahma muhurta concept. My parents get up early and meditate. But, I have found it difficult to wake up early and be productive through the extreme sleepiness that follows. Keeping awake at night is much easier.

      Thing is, if I plan to work late, it is a challenge to get the kids to bed. It is simpler to just turn all the lights out and go to bed myself too. I also have the fear of sleeping in and daughter missing school bus if I work late into the night ( almost happened quite a few times). So, I tried mornings and they seem to be working for me.

      Discipline is the only constant that can be relied on.

  4. Hi

    I write whenever I feel like and when I am able to grab some time. Sometimes late in the night, sometimes early in the morning and sometimes in the afternoons when I am home and my little boy is asleep. But sometimes your time and the flow of words in your head wont sync and then its a little difficult 😀

  5. Sandeep on said:

    I write a rough draft at night and then early in the morning after filter coffee I polish up the photographs and write-ups that I post. I usually prefer music in the background, oddly enough I concentrate more when listening to music.

    • Ahh, would love filter coffee now…

      Doing a rough draft and later polishing it is a good idea. Haven’t done that in a long time. Looking at the words with fresh eyes would give better perspective.

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