Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday's Children: Attention Deficit...Oh Shiny!

Recently, I saw a quote that said, "Being a good writer is 3% talent and 97% not being distracted by the internet."

Realistically, I think it's more than 3%, but the 97% seems about right. Yes, I know that more than 3% + 97% equals more than 100%. (I'm bad at math - but not that bad.) But the internet is so delightfully distracting, it often feels like it takes that much effort not to fall prey to its charms.

I mean, who doesn't want to check out the blogs of their favorite authors, or peruse Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Smashwords to see what new books look intriguing. Then there are the links a dear friend sends to me because she knows I'd be interested in reading the articles. I'm also guilty of looking at Pinterest for inspiration photos and getting sucked into the vortex of pretties. And let's not even talk about email distraction or the youtube links my kids send me. Most of these links are from my oldest son who says I suffer from Attention Deficit...Oh Shiny! That's a pretty apt description.

So how do I combat the shiny?

Mostly, I make deals with myself. I must write X number of words within an hour before I'm allowed to click one link. If I want to click another, I need to accomplish another word count goal. The same goes for checking email. If I go out to look at Pinterest, I set a timer. When it rings, I'm back to the manuscript.

Sometimes, I'll #wordwar on Twitter with writer friends. We post our hourly accomplishments and cheer each other on. Writing is a solitary activity, but it's helpful (not to mention motivating) to know that there are other people toiling away with you. It's sort of like making the internet work for you.

Occasionally, if I'm desperate and on a deadline, I'll just disable the internet on my computer. And it doesn't get turned back on until I reach a predetermined goal.

Figure out what works to keep yourself from being distracted and feel free to post some of your tips and tricks. Don't let this happen to you.






8 comments:

  1. I need a timer! Here I am, being distracted, but in a good way. So happy you joined the Thursday's Children blog hop. Tx for following my blog, I'm following yours now too. Pinterest is deadly, I just discovered it thanks to Kristina.

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    1. Hey Rhiann! I'm so glad I joined Thursday's Children, too! I'm very excited about it! :) And thanks so much for the follow! Pinterest is evil...but it's the best kind of evil. ;)

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  2. Pinterest, I'm not even going there. Twitter -- I belong but don't have a cell phone and don't get updates, but I do post, mostly boring stuff. Unless I'm sharing someones success. FB I absolutely hate, and yet still try to visit at least once daily. I'm trying to be a better blogger and commenter but what I really like are the flash fiction challenges and now this -- Thursday's Child. I want to share what and how I write, I'm just never sure it's interesting enough, and there are so many really talented people who do it so much better, but then again it's all about learning, and that's why I'm here. Sorry, didn't mean to write a book. See, I just made your point! :)

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    1. Hey Yolanda :) I thought your post was excellent! I really enjoyed your visual imagery! I have the same worries about my blogs being interesting enough.

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  3. Great post. I'm an Internet magpie, too. Will tempt you further by adding you to our Pinterest board. Thanks so much for joining us! K xx

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    1. I *love* the term internet magpie - that's absolutely perfect! :D I'll happily succumb to Pinterest temptation! :D

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    2. Just added you to the Pinterest board. You've been warned :-)

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  4. I cant make goals like that, the procrastinator in me is just too good at reasoning :) must be from years of last minute assignments and studying... love the illustration

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