According to the dictionary, a distraction is something that prevents a person (like us writers) from giving their full attention to a task at hand or something else that needs a person’s attention. Writing distractions are no different!
There are so many distractions around us that it’s hard to keep up with the tasks we have given ourselves. Kids yelling, spouses asking a million questions, dogs barking, loud music playing, the neighbors arguing, construction outside your home. Then there’s the internal stuff: your own thoughts about what to make for dinner, making a list in your head about what you need to get from the store, the urge to check social media every few seconds. And the list goes on and on and on.
This whole blog could be about distractions, but I won’t bore you with that…or distract you. What I want to know is, are there pleasant distractions that help you as a writer stay on track with your writing goals? Or is there even a thing called pleasant distractions? Are all distractions bad?
My pleasant writing distractions
Personally, I have those toxic distractions that keep me from my tasks, but there are other distractions, the pleasant ones, that help push me to write or edit my short stories, blogs, and books. And I embrace them just as you probably embrace yours.
I don’t know if calling them distractions is the right word, exactly, for those little things that help you stay on track. But as I can’t think of a better word, the term pleasant writing distraction seems fitting.
Right now, as I write this, I have one of my pleasant distractions going on: a movie. I know others would think this would be an unpleasant distraction, but I have to have a movie playing when I write. Thank goodness I found Tubi and have it downloaded on my phone, or I would still be stuck watching movies and TV shows on YouTube.
I don’t know what it is about having a movie playing, but it helps. I will glance at it from time to time, but I mostly just listen. And sometimes, not every time, I will choose the genre of the movie that goes hand in hand with what I am writing. Horror movies for horror writing, fantasy movies for fantasy writing, and so on and so on.
Other pleasant distractions for me are watching TV shows and sometimes listening to nature sounds like those from Calmed by Nature on YouTube. General music or podcasts, I find unpleasant writing distractions. Even though I can have a movie, something about having a podcast on makes me feel like I can’t concentrate on what I’m writing. Everyone is different!
Pleasant writing distractions other writers use
I’ve heard many other writers like to listen to music, podcasts, TV shows, movies, and nature sounds to keep their flow. Sometimes taking a break and playing games help you get back in the groove. Or even writing a poem or short story that doesn’t pertain to what you are writing is a pleasant distraction from a WIP that helps push you back into your writing world. Especially when faced with the unpleasant distraction we all know as writer’s block.
But we have only scratched the surface of pleasant distractions. I am sure writers do many other things when writing to keep them going besides sitting in silence. We would love to know what they are!
Share your writing distractions with us!
What are some unpleasant distractions for you as a writer? What are some pleasant distractions for you as a writer? Please leave a comment below and let us know.
About the Writer: Lacey Gordon is a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful, funny daughters and the wife and caretaker to her medically retired Navy veteran husband. She is a retired preschool teacher of nearly 13 years. Her love for writing stories started in high school, and she started blogging in July of 2017. Her first book, Pahulu Hale – Haunted House, will be published in 2022. Lacey has 2 cats, 1 standard poodle service dog for her husband, 6 ducks, 6 guinea fowl, and several chickens. In addition to blogging and writing her own books, Lacey writes children’s books for Reading Gate, a Korean ESL publisher.