Friday, October 25, 2013

Distractions...

Happy Friday! We made it through another week. I'm currently going through my formatted eBook file and making sure it's ready for launch day. Excited and nervous. But I expect that's normal. If you're looking for the NA Giveaway, please check the bottom of this post for links.

Today I'm talking about distractions. Not like you may be thinking, though. As writers we usually discuss ways to stay focused on our writing, like setting schedules to ensure daily word counts, and how to step away from the Internet. But what about when writing IS the distraction?

If you've been writing long enough, you've already figured out how to stay focused, but what if you're too focused? I have to remind myself of this all the time. Especially when one of my kids asks me to play with them while I'm right in the middle of edits or drafting or whatnot. It's so easy to tell them I'm too busy.

But I should never be too busy to spend time with my kids, among other things. My dog is good about insisting I step away from the laptop to walk him. He paws my leg til I get the message. It's pretty easy to shoo him away, or put him outside so I can stay focused on my stories. But stepping away to walk the dog refreshes me EVERY time.

Then there's exercise in general. Are we getting enough of it as writers? A few years ago when I decided I was going to be a writer no matter what, I had to wake at 4am to draft. My kids weren't in school full time and I had no time to myself. I also gained 20 pounds from focusing too much on writing. This past April, I just lopped off that extra 20 pounds. Finally! Good riddance. Honestly, it hadn't bothered me before then, because I was so focused on my writing.

Til I wanted to wear those cute pants hanging in my closet and they were too tight. :(

I started biking 7 miles every day, paying attention more to what time of day I was eating, and easing up on the determined writer's mentality. It feels great to be healthier again (and to fit in my fave clothes.) Distractions can be a very good thing. And even though we want to dedicate ourselves to our writing--because it's the only way to truly get better--we need to remember that other side of ourself that's NOT a writer. The one that needs a daily dose of nature, or to spend more time with their kids and/or spouse. And the one that must EXERCISE to stay healthy.

It ALWAYS replenishes my creative well when I embrace these distractions. Distractions are life. It's the world happening to us while we've got our nose in a book, or head buried in our computers. The written word may last forever, but our relationships are ever changing, and must be cared for and cultivated at all times. As well as the essence of our very being.

Writing is wonderful. I am a writer, and I love it. But life is happening all around us, and it's okay to be distracted with it now and then. :D

Hey guess who's revealing the cover for their book and having a fantastic giveaway? My friend Lexa! She's having a fun game to celebrate, so look closely at her cover and then hop over to the other blogs featuring her today and find all the cover errors to win a prize.


Can you find the error on this cover?

Check these blogs and compare it:

Alex J Cavanaugh
Father Dragon Writes
Bards and Prophets
The Write Game
Ellie Garrett
Klahanie
Julie Flanders
In High Spirits
Mainewords

And don't forget to hop over to Lexa's blog for the official contest rules, and to wish her congrats on her new release, Soul Cutter, coming December!

If you're here for the Rafflecopter entry for JL Fynn's book, THE LONG GAME, please click HERE and enter the code JLPK in entry # 16. Or click the picture below.


48 comments:

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Isn't Lexa's cover real game an awesome idea! It took me a long while to spot the mistake on my cover.

You are write in that my creativity always benefits from distractions like exercise and family activities. Even going to work is a benefit, for it gets me away from the story enough to let the story breathe and grow.

But the day job is also extraordinarily stressful. More so this year than ever before. And it takes up so much time. So, if it comes to a choice between exercise and writing, I will choose writing.

So, that's my argument to my husband these days ... If I could retire from teaching, I'd have more time to exercise, cook healthy, and still write. :D

Beth said...

I'm struggling with the writing too much thing right now. I've basically ignored my daughter for two days now to edit/format. But some days I don't write at all, so I'm trying to find a balance. Once I have these projects edited I'm going to take a break before starting the next book.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I can definitely see the mistake in that one!
It should always be about balance. We can be focused on our writing, but not to the extend that it throws our whole life out of balance.
And glad you're back into those jeans!

Melissa said...

I battle with finding a balance, and I know I'm selfish sometimes. But then, my kids are teens (or nearly), so they should be able to deal with mom being a little selfish for once. For many, many years I was anything but.

Got another clue. Clever reveal. :)

shelly said...

Congrats to Lexa! Love your post!

Hugs and chocolate,
Shelly

Suzanne Furness said...

There just never seem enough hours to fit everything in. I struggle with the concept of balance alot! Spotting the mistakes is a fun idea, congrats Lexa.

Yolanda Renee said...

Another find - only 6 more to go!

Great reveal Lexa!

I'd it's the distraction for me today! LOL

Al Diaz said...

Oh, I found it, I found it. The problem is I wont remember all of them. Leave you dragon Hugs, PK! (drop by the cave. There's something for you) ;)

L.G. Smith said...

Took me a minute to notice that error. :P

And I know exactly what you mean about being distracted BY the writing. I have to force myself to step away from the computer and go exercise too. I try to walk two or three miles every day, otherwise I see those pounds creep on from all the sitting.

Shah Wharton said...

Yeah... found it! :) Distractions however are the name of my game! Bleh.

http://shahwharton.com

T. Drecker said...

The release is coming up fast, isn't it? Yay!
I have to raise my hand to being guilty of making writing the distraction. As soon as our move is over and the kids are back in school, I've sworn to myself I'm going to find a 'healthy' pattern.
Thanks for the reminder :)

Siv Ottem said...

My kids are grown up so I thought that now was the perfect time to concentrate on my writing...to be focused on that...Boy was I wrong :) Congrats to Lexa! I hate riddles so I didn't bother to even look...sorry...

Debra McKellan said...

This is a great entry. I need to find the balance because I get so easily distracted from writing, and now I'm in school sometimes I still find it hard to focus.

(Oop, found it!)

M.J. Fifield said...

I'm not doing very well finding these errors. So far I've found one, but I love the idea. So much fun!

Panda Ninja said...

Nice cover! I really like it. :)

Distractions really can be irksome at times. I completely understand. Sometimes it can be hard to focus when you have other things going on.

cleemckenziebooks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cleemckenziebooks said...

Got it!

As to the distractions, I think they're put there to test writers stamina.

Robin said...

It is very easy to allow your life to become all WiP and nothing else. This is an excellent reminder that we NEED all of the other things in are lives. I, too, enjoy walking the dog. It gives me fresh air and perspective.

As for Lexa's cover... I found it!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I started doing the same thing as you. Stepping away from the computer to do stuff with the kids and my husband. Getting exercise, jogging 3-5 miles nearly everyday and eating good stuff at regular times. And getting enough sleep.

Robin said...

What a fun idea for a cover reveal! Congrats Lexa!
I'm glad you're biking:) Exercise helps to clear my head and take care of my body since I spent why too much time sitting on my fanny in front of a computer.

DAVID WALSTON said...

I tend to distract myself half the time.

Kate Larkindale said...

Distraction is an occupational hazard.

Love this cover reveal idea. Found the flaw!

Jennifer Ruth Jackson said...

I'm doing my DIY MFA right now and definitely know what you're saying. It's easy to get rolling and ignore things or people but those around you are "time sensitive" because they won't be there forever.

On the other hand, my family is pretty decent at demanding my time because, as they see it, my deadlines are self-imposed.

Christine Rains said...

Lexa's cover reveal game is awesome!

William Kendall said...

Congratulations to Lexa!

Exercise, I find, is essential. Fortunately I get plenty of it.

T.F. Walsh said...

Love your cover, Lexa and this error was an easy one to spot:)

I'm the worst at getting distracted... everything distracts me... Hehe

T.F. Walsh said...

Love your cover, Lexa and this error was an easy one to spot:)

I'm the worst at getting distracted... everything distracts me... Hehe

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Guilty. Completely and totally. One of my kids said today that it was amazing how I could be in the same room and be oblivious to 100% of everything but the laptop. And yeah. I'm sporting extra poundage too :(
Balance, I say. One day, I will have balance!

Andrew Leon said...

It seems like everything in my life is a distraction, right now.
So why don't you make me a time machine. But I don't want one that travels, I want one like a sewing machine, one that -makes- time.

Oh, you might want to try uploading your file ahead of time. I had some major issues today with a document getting error messages it shouldn't have been getting.

Donna Hole said...

At this time I have too many distractions from writing. I haven't written much of anything in the last two years except blog fest excerpts, book reviews and critiques. I'll be taking a blog break over the next couple months to see if I can remember how to write a story. *sighs*

I found the cover mistake. This is a cool game. Have a relaxing weekend PK.

......dhole

Lexa Cain said...

I love that you can balance writing with real life. I get concerned about those who can't. I bet no one ever said on their deathbed, "I wish I'd spent more time writing."

Thanks so much for your help with my reveal! It's been an awesome day! :-)

Cally Jackson said...

So very true, PK. This is one of the reasons I've quit my blog for now. I didn't have time for both writing and blogging while keeping little miss Mackenzie the priority, so blogging had to go.

Norma Beishir said...

I just got a lecture from my cardiologist regarding exercise. As for distractions, I'm too easily distracted--the phone, the noisy kids outside, you name it. My focus is suffering big time and I'm struggling to get it back!

jamieayres.com said...

I hear ya! It's so hard to step away from the shiny object at times! And good for you on losing that 20 pds. I've gained 40 since I started writing 4 1/2 years ago. My family and I recently started running again, so I'm hoping to start knocking that extra weight off and wear my fave outfits again like you :-)

Morgan said...

LOL! Loving these errors! Seriously so entertaining! :)

Leandra Wallace said...

My husband would say that my writing is a distraction, lol! And this error is just a travesty! ;)

SA Larsenッ said...

I hear you with the struggling writer's brain thing. Either I find too much inspiration or not enough. Then there's being overly-motivated to the point of obsession, which eventually fades and leaves me stagnant. Happy medium??? Where the heck is it?

JJ said...

I am now your newest follower!

Denise Covey said...

Hey Pk. Glad you're nearly there with your book release. So much to do I'm sure, but you raise a refreshing point about distractions. It is these distractions from writing that ground us and do make us healthier. Thank goodness for dogs! They've just got to be walked. Finding the time is always a challenge and I'm sure I don't always get it right. D

cleemckenziebooks said...

Does snoozing over the keyboard count as a distraction? I woke up to find I'd written some interesting prose with my nose. :-)

Crystal Collier said...

Yay for Lexa!

About the time you posted this post, my daughter was sitting next to me asking if we could play sometime. *dagger to the heart* Have I been neglecting my littles? The balance can be SO hard...especially when you toss home schooling in there. Teaching has to be balanced with "fun" time.

Liz said...

I too gained an appalling amount of weight in the last 3 years. I've written and had published a fair number of books and have totally let myself go, physically. I'm working my way back into my Bikram yoga practice which helps me focus and actually be a better writer. Thanks for the great post!

Jane Ann McLachlan said...

A good reminder to all of us writers - I would so rather sit at my computer than exercise - especially in winter. You've inspired me to do better.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Found it. :)

Christine Rains said...

It's definitely very important to embrace those distractions! I never miss time with my son. My stories can sit.

E.J. Wesley said...

I do the same thing! I go through these fits of trying to get my writing stuff done and everything seems to slide. Then I'll look up and say, "Holy Mother! I haven't run in three weeks!" LOL

Staying balanced is so important, plus was you said, those other things really seem to help me with my writing as well.

Dog walks FTW! :)

Kittie Howard said...

Thanks for putting into words, PK, what so many of us are going through. There are times when I look up from the computer and can't believe how much time has passed. And as the days grow shorter and colder, I sometimes wish I could just go for a walk when I can't and worry that I didn't.

Hey, congrats for getting into your fav clothes!

Kim said...

Looove this game and caught the error here! Can't wait to see this book out in the world :)