Writer’s Journal: Distractions

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Distractions have been on my mind a lot lately, partly because it was our topic of discussion this past Saturday during our Facebook Live. For new readers, I am part of a group of three authors who have created a joint readers group called Longbourn Literary Society. Every Saturday, we do a Facebook Live broadcast where we update our news for our readers, share news from other writers, and chat about various aspects of writing.

Anyway, I have found that there are dozens of things that distract me every day. One of the big ones is my dogs. I love them to pieces, but they love to bark. Seriously, no one makes a move on this street without one of my beasts raising a ruckus and sounding an alarm. The scary thing is, I have begun ignoring them, and I’m starting to be concerned about missing knocks on the door because I tuned Jasper and Selena out. Still, I can’t be jumping up and running downstairs every time one of them opens their mouth, or I’d get nothing at all done.

Another distraction is social media, mainly Facebook. Sadly, that’s still the place most readers are located, so I must maintain a healthy presence there. I do, however, attempt to limit myself to ten minutes at a time. I am good about closing that tab and getting on with my work or writing, and I refuse to have it on my phone or tablet, so it’s controllable. However, when you repeatedly hit the snooze on the timer because you have found interesting stuff on Facebook, there’s an issue. Another issue is that sometimes I feel a need for human contact, and Facebook draws me in. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen often and doesn’t keep me in FB, because quite frankly, the site is frequently boring as all get out.

Mowing the grass is a big distraction. I currently have to push mow, and I have around ½ acre. It takes me anywhere from 2 ½ hours to 4 hours to mow, depending on how tall/wet/thick it is. I try to mow weekly, but was not terribly faithful with it this summer. Three times this year, I let it go for three weeks or more. The first time was in late June or early July, I think—early in the season. That time, it took a single four-hour session. It was awful! The last two times were a month and six weeks apart. I did those in two or three sessions, an hour to an hour and a half each.

There’s not much I can do about yard work. I’ll always have it. Right now, I need to go spray disease killer on the bushes in the front and on the west side of the house. In another 3 weeks or so, I will have to mow again, and in October, I will need to clean the gutters on the garage. I also need to clean and organize the inside of the garage, and, hopefully, get my brother to come over and fix a few things. Next year, though, I am making a riding mower a priority. I’ll have to increase my walking and other exercise, but the grass will take less than half the time to mow.

I’m probably most often distracted by housework: laundry, dishes, sweeping, etc. My house is pretty much clutter-free, except for three rooms, and those only have a couple hot spots, as Flylady would call them. I do not run the vacuum very often, or dust, and if I did those, I could really call my house clean. 😀 I look at them and think, “Man, I need to get that done!” But, I just never take the time. Laundry and dishes are my priority, to be honest. If I can keep those caught up, I’m really doing well! As with yard work, there’s little that can be done to make this better, short of hiring someone to do it for me. Sadly, that’s not an option right now; I hope it will become one in the next couple of years. In the meantime, I have my loose routines that I follow daily. They’re really more like checklists, and not everything gets done, but they help me stay on track. I intend to buy a portable dishwasher at some point, as well. I always did better with dishes when I had a machine to do the washing. 😀

I get frustrated with these distractions because they take me away from writing, and if I’m not writing, I’m not eating, because I won’t have a new book to sell and won’t earn money to buy groceries. I really like to eat, so reducing distractions is a priority for me!

What distracts you? How do you handle/reduce them?

Come back next Wednesday for another peek into my journal! <3

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