How often do you let the world get in the way?
I’m busy, I mean work full-time, chauffeur a busy teenager, and go to nursing school kind of busy. Though, to be fair, my house is a disaster. I need to train the dog to dust and load the dishwasher. However, there’s a very real chance that you’re even busier than I am.
And yet, on many days you probably find time to write. You’re not too busy to carve out thirty to sixty minutes, or more if you are amenable to having a messy house.
So ,why oh why, when you’re so freaking busy, do you allow writing distractions to creep in? And I’m not talking about the urgent phone call from your teenager because their car was towed in downtown Denver. No, those are legit distractions. I’m talking the crappy distractions that serve no purpose getting in the way of the progress of your romance novel.
I think that checking Facebook every hour has become a habit, like checking email or getting on the bathroom scale. (Kidding about the scale.) Social media is just not that compelling and there’s a very real chance that you can get all caught up on what your friends are eating as you watch the Bachelorette or HGTV. Most television shows don’t require your full attention.
Did I mention that I have a messy house? It’s not hoarders messy, but I could really use a housekeeper. Yet sometimes the urge to scrub the bathroom floors takes precedence over writing a chapter in my novel.
Why? What on earth could possess me to choose scrubbing a floor over…well, pretty much anything? The truth is that when I let chores get in the way, I’m procrastinating.
Why do YOU let household stuff get in the way? Maybe you’re procrastinating too or maybe you’re afraid of not being able to write today or writing something you’ll just end up throwing away or gosh…afraid of actually writing something great.
Physical distractions are the, “I don’t feel good,” type of distractions. Sometimes we just feel yucky and writing is difficult. Low energy days, migraine days, and I’m having my period and everyone needs to just leave me the heck alone days too. Those physical distractions can be managed. No, seriously, they really can. How?
Well check out some of my more recent blog posts on self-care for writers. Also, become a bit more self-aware. Learn when you don’t have energy, or when you’re PMS-ing, and devise strategies to manage them. For example, low energy days might be book planning days. PMS days are probably ideal for editing.
The point is that we writers often needlessly place obstacles in our own path.
We check Facebook or email or our sales on Amazon when we should be writing. We do laundry, run errands, and decide that the refrigerator door seals need cleaning and prioritize those tasks over our writing. And we slack off and let days when we don’t feel good get in the way.
Now, I’m not saying that you have to be rigid and never take a day off. Heck, if you feel like taking a writing day off then take it. But I do hope that when you take that day off, you’re doing something worthwhile, something that feeds your spirit and makes you feel grateful and happy.
If that’s Facebook and dirty bathroom floors then more power to you. If it’s going for a hike, reading romance novels, or having lunch with friends, then that’s great too.
Structure is good and so is understanding your limits. Just don’t let low priority tasks and silly distractions deter you from achieving your romance writing goals.