Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Perry on Fighting Distraction

On the Psychology Today Web site, Dr. Susan K. Perry discusses seven distraction-fighting strategies that help established authors get their projects rolling. Excerpt:
A blank screen or sheet of paper glares at you, insisting you produce something now. Meanwhile, a lot of other voices are calling out, "Pay attention to me!" Suspect a lack of focus if your gaze wanders to the bookshelves over your desk, or your mind keeps drifting off to future plans, or you leap to answer the phone on its first ring, thinking, "Great! A reprieve!"

How can you best access your creativity and get the words flowing?

Whether or not it comes naturally to you, focus is a matter of deciding to pay attention, and then strengthening your focusing ability by using it. When I interviewed an array of experienced writers, I found they regularly use a variety of techniques to get and keep themselves focused on their work.
Read the whole thing. When our second child was on the way, I knew that writing regularly would soon become difficult. The combination of family, work, school and freelancing meant time was already at a premium, and a new small person yowling for attention would only further curtail discretionary activities. So I took to heart two of Perry's suggestions -- setup some structure and fiddle with forms -- and made a commitment to write one 100-word story (also known as a "drabble") per week for a year. The great thing about these super-short flash-fiction pieces is that you can pen them in the periods available to, say, super-frazzled parents of rambunctious kiddos. Not that they're exactly easy, but the form teaches both economy of language and that it's possible to complete some sort of creative project no matter your schedule.

(Picture: CC 2012 by birgerking; Hat Tip: /r/writing)


ollwen said...

Reading this was a good distraction... which will hopefully help be less distracted in future.

Loren Eaton said...

Blogs do that to me, too. All too often.