Driven to Distraction by Matt Mansfield

From writer’s block to insecurities and plots gone awry, authors face many barriers to putting words to paper.

This post however focuses on one of the most insidious barriers of all: distraction.

Distracted Writer

Yep, I’m distracted.

Truthfully, I wish I had one of those other problems:

  • Writer’s block – there are so many ways to beat that beast.
  • Insecurities – I slew those loathsome hanger-ons long ago.
  • Plots gone awry – I’m a planner so this is seldom a problem for me and when it is well, I just put it right.

However, distraction is a hard problem to avoid. That’s because it’s sometimes right.

For example, my current to-do list looks like this:

To-Do List

The fact is that #1 is enough to eat up all parts of every day (I could write a whole post about the introspective journey I’ve embarked upon).  Number 2 will, by its nature, need to follow hard on #1 and is also a full-time and necessary endeavor.

Number 3 is something I cannot rid myself of. This encompasses being a husband, a parent, a child to an aging parent and in-laws and all the other bucolic necessities of suburban life in America.

Is it any surprise that writing comes in last?

Sadly, writing needs to be the lowest priority at this point in my life and that’s just a fact.

Tut-tut! I can hear you saying that this doesn’t need to be true, that I can always fit in writing.

How I wish that were true.

You see, I’ve never been able to do anything by halves. I’m either in or out, and writing is one of those things that engages me so thoroughly that I find it nigh impossible to put words to paper when my mind is so heavily distracted.

Now, this isn’t a rant. I’m not looking for suggestions or answers. What I want to share is this:

If life ever distracts you from writing, you’re not alone and it’s okay.

Distraction from writing happens and often it cannot, and should not, be avoided.

I’m a strong believer in the phrase, “Writer’s write.” But today I offer this caveat – “Sometime writers are too busy to write” and that’s a fact I’m learning to live with.

Does this make me any less of a writer? Hell no! Yes, it makes me a less productive writer. Yes, it frustrates me. Yes, my stories are still pushing to be told.

But I’m distracted so they’ll just have to wait.


2 thoughts on “Driven to Distraction by Matt Mansfield

  1. Thank you for sharing! So much to write, so little time… It wasn’t till I began to do something many writers, such as Dan Brown, say they do and something I thought I never would. Waking up at 5 am to write? Hell no! Well, it wasn’t till I started to pursue my pre-dawn compositions, that I started to make real progress. Best luck to you!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I had to do the same thing that Dare did, get up at 4 a.m. write for an hour then back to bed till sixish. The only way I got Unveiling Facade written then published. Distractions are a way of life but there are ways around them. Best to you.


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