Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What distractions tend to--Hey! Something Shiny!!!

Okay, I'm not the most dedicated writer, and I may never be. I can admit that. I write most every day. But I also have a few things (mostly family or school related) that take up time as well. Recently it's been the Hurricanes.

I can't help it, I'm a big fan of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Even moreso when the Canes play.

Now I'm an all-around sports fan, and I know a lot of writers are. There isn't anything wrong with that. But I feel guilty as hell sitting on the couch with my wife watching the Canes score with 0.2 seconds left to win a game they should have run away with (grumbleBrodeurgrumble).


Okay, that's not true. I felt guilty as hell AFTER the game was over. During the game, I was alternately cheering and chewing my nails with nervous energy. Oh, and storming off cursing when the Devils tied it in the 3rd.

But the thing is, I know writers always preach "write every day." I do that. I may or may not be a successful writer one day, I have no way to know right now. But should I be beating myself up over taking a night to rest, pretend i don't have stuff to grade, and just watch some playoff puck?

Am I becoming the lazy wannabe that writers snicker about? Or would they say, "Who cares? Why aren't you writing RIGHT NOW?!?" What (if anything) distracts you from your writing?


Linda Pendleton said...

Lots of things end up distracting me. Going out with a friend to dinner, American Idol, reading blogs! LOL

jnantz said...

I know what you mean. I used to think i had to have absolute stillness and quiet to write. Might be why I could never get anything done. Such things do not exist. So now I put the iPod on, choose a playlist I've heard so much I can tune it out, and it tunes everything else out. But that's once I've actually sat down at the computer, which isn't happeneing while playoff hockey's on tv....

Basil Sands said...

I do almost all of my writing in a potential state of disruption and distraction unless I get lucky and still have the energy to write after ten pm.

Being an IT guy on my job means I often have lots of silent down time. So writing fills the void. The down side is that I never know when some emergency that needs my attention is coming up, and I never know how long it will last either.

I seldom watch TV, but internet blogs, news articles, and endless wikipedia article links are the bane of my existence.

Oh...and Rugby World Cup. That gets me everytime, luckily its only every few years.

Basil Sands said...

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention

Simply evil time-suck page.

Anonymous said...

Geez, I feel pretty bad because lately my writing has been almost nil. I've written MAYBE an hour in the last two weeks.

So don't feel bad.

jnantz said...

Basil, I know what you mean about blogs. So easy for "research" and "establishing yourself in the writing community" to become "spending too much time online."

And Anon, don't feel bad. Tonight the distraction spirits were feeling particularly evil, with the Canes losing on one station, and the Dodgers playing on MLBChannel. Yeah, I got nothing done at all...

R.J. Mangahas said...

I agree with the idea of writing something everyday, but you can't force it either. And remember, any published writer (or even unpublished) who says that all their down time is spent writing either is lying through their teeth or have absolutely no life.

Frankly, you need some distractions sometimes. (Like the 4 and quarter hour Red Sox/Yankees game I watched yesterday) GO SOX!!!

jnantz said...

I can definitely agree with that...everything except the bosox part. The Pen-ferno is DODGER country!!!

(Of course you're loving that we picked up Torre and Mattingly so the Skanks can't use either of them, aren't you?)

Lettera22 said...

Hi Jake:
I'm embarrassed to admit that the only time I write like a demon is during the month of November when I participate in Nanowrimo. A friend and I have done it for the past three years and each year, we've both managed to hit the 50K word mark in 26 days because I can forget about writing during T-day weekend. The plus side is that I've written some decent stuff that has gotten better as the years progressed...I hope.

I write late at night when I'm not reading or web surfing or reading writing blogs. :) I work at home and I've tried writing during the day but it doesn't work because there are too many things that need to be done and I can't focus. One thing that helps me is if I jot down some points or a loose outline for the next chapter...that way, I don't find myself looking for reasons not to write and it provides that jump start I need. Distractions? Too many to list!

jnantz said...

That jotting down ideas sounds like a great idea to get you jump-started. Awesome to know it works for you!