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Dealing with Distraction

Too often I get distracted. I cannot count the number of times I stopped in the middle of a Work in Progress, because I was obsessed with Star Wars, Tokyo Babylon, or Naruto.

Those are just the fun distractions. There’s also the serious, real life problems which grab, shake me, and leave me too hurt to create.

How do I deal with them? How do I deal with such distractions so I can work?

Sometimes I simply can’t. It’s too big, too serious. I have to take a break from my writing, let myself cope.

Regardless of how big or small the distraction is, I’ve never been very good at ignoring them. I have to cope or vent about what’s on my mind, even if it’s just in a page of freeform writing. This is why I’ve found the Morning Pages exercise in Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way highly addictive. It’s a chance to just vent about my distraction, give it a little attention so I can get it out of my system. Even if it’s just a random idea about a movie I just watched and it keeps running around in my mind like a hyperactive hamster, I’ve found it useful to jot it down. Taking a moment to pay attention to the idea gives it a chance to run around and wear itself out. Sometimes it’s even led to another idea, which has led to something I’ve been able to incorporate into my Works in Progress.

Yes, it takes time to deal my distractions. I’ve found it to be time well spent, even when I often feared I was wasting it.

How about you, dear reader? Do you ever get distracted? How do you cope?

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