Writing and what keeps me away from it

A fellow writer and blogger, one I consider a good friend although we haven’t met, has set out to be a more #productivewriter. She refers to her new experimental project “Writing into the Dream – a six-week experiment in becoming a more productive writer”. Click here to read her post.

I am in the middle of my 16-Day Mindful Reset Challenge and although the two challenges are dissimilar I had to think about it. I already am time-deprived, I always tell myself. Having thought about it for a minute (I didn’t say I had to think about it for long, ha-ha!), I decided to go for it.

Theresa’s first strategy is Write Every Day! Does it sound easy? If it does, it is misleading. This is one perfect example of easier said than done. There are so many “reasons” (excuses?) why I don’t write every day.

But, I was intentional! That should make a difference.

I told myself, while on my one-and-a-half-hour-traffic-ridden-drive from work, that I would start writing as soon as I got home. After all, I don’t cook so making dinner isn’t one of those activities that keep me away form writing. I buy food. In the car was supper. I probably cook once a month, if ever. And yes, when I do cook, at least two hours quickly disappear from time available for writing. I also had a good start as I had been listening to Katharine McPhee’s first album, which at some point in my life was all I listened to. That part of my life comes alive when I hear the songs. I thought, a silly smile – no grin – plastered across my face, I can write about him and our short love story (affair?). Listening to the whole album also brings back the memories of my European adventure. I think I’ll write about it tomorrow. I’ll just keep listening to Katharine.

Here’s the reality: I sat in front of my laptop for at least two hours preparing to write. Yes, preparing. This is my Numero Uno Distraction. I was researching. I was on YouTube searching for Katharine’s music. I can’t quite remember the lyrics so I needed to be reminded. I know that most, if not all, of those songs have their own little stories in the big story. But the research was only after I watched a few videos of a dude called Mystic7. He plays Pokemon Go and the videos are Pokemon Go related, mostly, his own game.

This brings me to my No. 2 Distraction: Pokemon Go. I play the game every day! If I wrote as much as I play, I would be a more productive writer. The game takes me out of the house. In the house, I watch videos. I do admin: cleaning up my Pokemon Storage,  transferring Pokemon back to the Professor, marking the ones that will evolve and making sure I have at least one left of each. Sometimes, I play my child’s game, Pou. Gaming can keep me away from writing. Sigh!

There are also those rare occasions when my lethargy wins and I Netflix-binge. I don’t even watch stuff I haven’t watched before. I repeat. I watch the same movies I like again and again. Hubby’s Friends doesn’t distract me so much but I can become a couch potato, too. I recently started watching Charmed. Sadly, (or is it fortunately?) I can’t seem to find it anymore. Maybe it’s off Netflix.

Other activities that take time from writing are:

Many activities that keep me away from writing take place here. This is the culprit. 🙂
  • Going out for supper, mostly to Montecasino, which would have been cooking if I cooked.
  • Casino (let’s not say what I do in the casino), although I once finished writing a flash fiction in the casino and I think I got an Honorable Mention for that one (Vengeance). Well, the setting of that story is Witkoppen Road, which leads to Montecasino. Across the Montecasino complex is that bungee jumping / dinner in the sky scaffolding structure. It is a bit worse when we head out east to Emperors Palace as there’s about an hour of drive added to time spent.
  • Work after work, because sometimes I have to do work at home.
  • Facebook and Instagram, but not so much because I’m hardly there.
  • Phonecalls, which has now put a dampen on the flow of my thoughts so I should rather stop here and just take a shower.
  • Long showers, although good for my creative juices, can take quite a chunk of time because this 45-minute water activity is followed by getting the body moisturized and dressed. And, when one is “slightly” (yeah, right!) easily distracted, the process can take about an hour. Of course, sometimes, I write in between before the ideas disappear.

If I don’t write even a Tanka tonight before I take my 5-hour sleep, at least I wrote this.

20 thoughts on “Writing and what keeps me away from it

  1. I do agree. There are so many things to do that writing gets the least priority sometimes. Hitting the “publish” button really gives a great feeling. Totally worth it. 🙂 Have a wonderful rest of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have about 10 WIPs. I need to progress on these works. Haha. I need a plan. And self-imposed deadlines on those short stories and essays. The books can wait another 10 years. Lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne! You wrote this! A wonderful long blog post that gives us a lovely window into your life! You did it1 Kudos, my friend!
    And, now you can knock off writing until tomorrow. We’re going to make it there, writing once a day for 15 minutes or more, just until Sunday when we check in on #productivewriter. Great work!
    I, too, did just 15 minutes today on a little exercise that ended up just being for practice. I did a little “he said/she said” piece on the them of “without malice.” So we did it together today. :: HUGS :: I’m so glad you’re in this with me. It makes me feel more connected to read about your day today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, thank you. ☺ I am hoping I can do this until the end. It’s been good so far. Holding thumbs. And do share what you’re writing. You are so organized and you write with a purpose. I am definitely a feeling writer.
      Today, I did write a bit but mostly notes for my “bigger” piece/post for later. My Countdown to 45 Realizations. 😆 And I wrote today a travel blog post scheduled for tomorrow morning. Yay!
      Thank you again for your support and encouragement. Much love and warm hugs. 💖🤗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. I know I say that all the time. I really mean it. You are my source of courage! 🙂 The past several months saw a drastic improvement in my writing. It may not seem like it results-wise but the practice makes a lot of difference. I just need to do at least one formal writing training. We have one here in Johannesburg, with the Writers Write but I am such a skeptical person so I can’t seem to decide. Any suggestion on writing courses?


      2. Me too! You are MY source of courage. I do think it is difficult to overcome a sense of isolation as a writer. I know some writers really dig in and love being by themselves, but I am both – needing time on my own but also to feel like I’m not alone in my endeavors.

        About writing classes, if it were me, I would be inclined to find a class in which you actually WROTE, or, secondly one in which you studied other people’s writing. Vs. a class where they give you feedback on your writing (not as good). The reason? I have benefited most from either generating writing in new ways or learning new ways to write from what other (good) writers have done. But having other writers “tear apart” or criticize my writing tends to be much less helpful.

        If it were me, I might try their “How to Write a Book” course, or I think the video also says there is a Writers Write 1 course? that sounds like the instructor tries to help the writer find their voice. (though you already have developed a great voice!)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ah, we have been blessed. 💖🤗 I do need other writers as their writing challenge, stimulate, and inspire. The feedback is a huge help, too. That’s why I ask family and friends to read my work. Haha! The only quiet I need is when I’m in the writing zone and can’t hear what people say when they talk to me anyway.
        Thank you so much for your advice on the course. I think I saw that “How to Write a Book” course. I also got details on the “How to Write Short Stories” course. I’ll check dates for the book. It might help me with NaNoWriMo or at least decide if I can.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes! What I liked about the video comments was the students talked about “being encouraged” and “finding their voices”, which is great, and maybe the short story class would be similar. Just last week I was in a writing workshop that was all about looking smarter than the next person by picking apart the other person’s writing – not good for me at all. {smile}. I did not quite realize the content of the workshop – that was the one in Maui – but it turned out I was able to “opt-out” of the group sessions and do my own writing retreat. :). Good luck in your search!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That sounds really good so I’m going to find out if they have in August when my child is on a long term-break. I can then take a week off and do the 4 consecutive days. 4 consecutive Saturday mornings sound like I’m giving up a whole month of weekend. 😄 I don’t believe in depriving me of anything. Haha! We have to go for what we’re happy with. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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