Tuesday, December 13, 2011

For Writers - Distractions

Today's tip is mainly for myself, but you are all welcome to listen in if it applies to you as well.

It's about distraction. Not just any distraction - I do like me a little Nathan Fillion or Robert Downey Junior from time to time - but those distractions that keep me from putting words on the page. They are distractions of choice. I choose to let them take over my writing time and then wonder how it could be that I have only a page or two to show for several hours at the computer.

For instance, I love to research. I can spend an entire day researching... which is great for getting the facts straight in a WIP, but not so great when it's used as an excuse to not write. Social media is another chosen distraction. I need to stay connected, right? Not if it keeps me from completing a scene. This is a reminder for myself to stop letting myself get distracted, and to use whatever strategy necessary to keep moving forward, no matter how scary that can be.

Right now, that means using an egg timer app on my computer to designate online time and writing time. Even if a question comes up during writing time, I am not allowed to peek online to find the answer until the writing time is up. And even if my phone chimes, alerting me to a reply or mention tweet, I am not allowed to check the messages until my timer dings.

How about you? What are some of your chosen distractions? What strategies do you use to overcome them?

And speaking of distractions...

This Week's Link Roundup:

Outlining Lessons via Ghostbusters (genreality) Excellent.

How Not to Use Beta Readers (SarahEnni) Always trust your instincts.

20 Ways NOT to Write Your First Book (Shannon Whitney Messenger)

12 Most Dangerous Words for Writers (Writer Unboxed) Give or take a word...

12 Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking (Creativity Post)

10 Things Authors Should Know About Twitter (Angela James) Right on.

5 Step Approach to Revision (Writers' Digest) Geyser metaphors

5 Biggest Mistakes in Writing Scenes (Fresh News Daily) Don't be Hollywood Backlot...

3 Things Writers Can Learn from Liar's Moon (Cheryl Klein) Pt 2. (Pt 1 in last week's roundup)

3 Things Writers Can Learn from Liar's Moon (Cheryl Klein) Pt. 3

3 Ways to Incorporate NaNoWriMo Into Your Everyday Writing (duolit)

Interview With Children's Book Seller (Kathryn Lay) Excellent info for writers.

Just You and I: Subject and Object Pronouns (Grammar Monkeys)

Writing Like a Reader (Adventures in Children's and YA Publishing) Tina Moss

Lessons Learned While Writing (Writing w/ a Broken Tusk) Good stuff and interesting read.

Never Give Up! (Market my Words) Inspiring success story.

Is Your Novel a Spineless Weakling? (Kristin Lamb) Antagonist vs. Villain. Read this one.

Top Tips for Young Writers (Spilling Ink) Aimed at kids, but good info to remember.

Decisions, Decisions (Patricia Wrede) On getting stuck and figuring out how to move forward.

Travel Writing: Shaping Experience into Stories (Beyond the Margins)

Write What You Don't Know (Erika Liodice) "Magnificant stories await you"

To Delve or Not to Delve (Gail Carson Levine) How deep to get into our characters.

A Sense of Self (Writer Unboxed) Characterization advice from super agent Donald Maass

How to Bring Characters into Focus (Write it Sideways) Do your homework = clear picture

Naming Characters (TN Tobias) An exhaustive list of references

Emo MCs (Paranormal POV) Leave room for developing the angst

Unlikable Characters (Paranormal POV) Excellent, with links.

Are Your Flashbacks Flashy or Flabby? (Wordplay) Most Common Mistakes series.

Q&A From YA Authors (Huffington Post)

On Being the Writer You Are (The Halls of Dreaming) Nice piece about author's voice.

Dream Box (Face the Page) Don't hide your box away.

Big Revision (Kidlit) "Unless you make big changes, a revision isn't worth doing."

Weekend Links (Nephele Tempest) Enjoy.

Now go. Get un-distracted. Write.