The Easily Distracted Writer

The Easily Distracted Writer. That’s me! When I’m involved in a writing project, I spend a good 10-12 hours a day at the computer. But wait. Am I honestly totally focused on my writing/editing every minute of those 12 hours? No. Not really. (Case in point, revisions due on Friday, and here I sit updating my blog!)

My day starts off with:

A check of my personal and professional e-mail accounts where I weed through dozens of  e-mails and respond where necessary.

A Twitter check. 106 followers.  A tweet scan and mention/messages check. I make a mental note to think up engaging tweets to get people interested enough to follow me and visit my blog/Facebook page.

A Facebook check. 67 followers. Still pathetic. No comments. I make a mental note to find a way to be more entertaining.

A visit to Amazon UK to check on my cover, you know, to make sure no one removed it overnight. And a check of my (and Janice Lynn’s) sales ranking. 970,485 on the top sellers list. Terrible. But the book hasn’t technically been released yet. And the fact that we even have a sales ranking means someone has pre-ordered a book. How exciting/scary is that?

Then I visit my blog and the 4badmommies blog to see if anyone commented overnight. And by the way, Regina Richards, a fabulously entertaining writer has a post up on teen dating. You do not want to miss it. http://www.4badmommies.com.  

For a while I visited the Mills and Boon and eharlequin Author pages and blog lists to check on the status of my info. being uploaded. To date my bio is on eharlequin and my eharlequin blog is listed. Still waiting to be officially recognized on the Mills and Boon site.

Throughout my writing day, when I’m stumped or reach the end of a scene, I continue with checks to my e-mails, you know, in case there’s a time sensitive, important e-mail pertaining to a million dollar deal or world peace.  

Sometimes, when I’m really looking for a distraction, I hop onto Amazon France and Amazon Germany where I found my book listed. (Because I am a total obsessive NUT and went looking one day.) No sales.

When I’m writing, my visits to Dictionary.com by far exceed my visits anyplace else.  And, since I’m already on the Internet, may as well check my e-mail.

Heaven forbid I’m a guest blogger somewhere or blogging at the medical romance authors loop. It’s hard to get anything done those days.  

Would I recommend my routine to others? Absolutely not. I have accepted that I am an easily distracted writer and have adjusted my schedule accordingly. How you may ask? I set myself a goal for each day. A certain number of new words. A certain number of pages edited, blogs visited, tasks completed. And I make myself work until I have met that goal. If I have a particularly distracted day, I could be at the computer until 1 a.m.

I’m happy to report that when I am deep into writing/editing my story, I am totally focused and can work for several uninterrupted hours straight. Once I get started, which I need to do now. 

So what about you? Are you an easily distracted writer? What are your major distractions?

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22 Comments

  • Posted March 22, 2011 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

    How interesting. I just wrote on Twitter yesterday that if I just focused when doing #1k1hr, I’d probably get 1500 words done. But, instead, I’ll write, check my e-mail, blogs, etc.

    I’m definitely a distraction person.

    Abbi 🙂


  • Posted March 22, 2011 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    1. Wait until your book is out, then you can check all the other Harlequin sites worldwide (on the first of the month) to see if it is out there.
    2. Do things like FB and twitter because you like them. The people will come. Make sure your readers can send you emails and sign up for your newsletter.
    And yes, I am an easily distracted writer. You will do your revisions. Dig deep and then a bit deeper.


  • Posted March 22, 2011 at 11:05 AM | Permalink

    I am you! I do too many other things including email, twitter, facebook, blogging, checking blogs, and marketing. Problem is: I won’t have anything left to market if I don’t get my butt in gear! Personally, you may be distracted but I think you get tons of work done and you are my inspiration!


  • Wendy S. Marcus
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

    Hi Abbi!
    I have to work at managing my tweetdeck better. I missed that tweet!
    We may be easily distracted but we do manage to get done what we need to…just in our own timeframe!


  • Wendy S. Marcus
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

    Hi Michelle! And Welcome!
    I’m actually terrified of what I’ll morph into once my book is offically out. Here I am…a brand new author writing for one of the smallest lines of Harlequin…but I’ll be checking the top ten list on Mills and Boon, and making sure my books haven’t sold out anywhere, and I hear there’s a novelrank website and…well, let’s just say I’ll be busy.

    Thank you for your suggestions and your wonderful comments in the Harlequin forums. You are a true mentor to us new and aspiring authors.


  • Wendy S. Marcus
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

    Hi Jen!
    I guess I am you, too, because I also say: If I don’t get to work I won’t need a website and Facebook and Twitter…
    Bottom line we get it done!
    And you’re my inspiration because you’re doing it with young children while working.

    Jen has a book, Tantric Principle, coming out with Red Sage Publishing on April 1st. Be sure to check it out!


  • Nas
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

    What a hectic schedule! All the best with your revisions amid all these juggling.


  • Wendy S. Marcus
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

    Thanks, Nas! I see you in most of the places I haunt, so I’m not the only one juggling.


  • Posted March 22, 2011 at 11:08 PM | Permalink

    It’s the internet’s fault not ours! 😉 If you don’t have time to deal with that million dollar email when it comes feel free to forward it to me 🙂


  • Nas
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 11:25 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the tip, Wendy! All done now,


  • Posted March 23, 2011 at 9:08 AM | Permalink

    Hi Nas!
    I’m so happy it worked. Now to get your link to show up. When you post a comment here try putting your blog address on the website line. That should work. Then people can just click on your name to follow you to your blog.


  • Posted March 23, 2011 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

    Hi Lacey!
    Thanks for your offer to accept my diverted million dollar e-mail. You’re a doll! Should I ever get one, I’ll consider it. (Not!)

    Also, to get your picture to show up here keyword Gravatar in google search and enter your e-mail to set up an account. Then when you comment on a blog using that e-mail address your picture will come up. (Same goes for anyone whose picture isn’t showing up…if you’re interested.)


  • Jen FitzGerald
    Posted March 24, 2011 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

    Actually, I only get distracted by my body–numb backside, nature’s call etc. When I have long stretches of time to write, I generally write for 45 minutes to an hour–or actually a laundry cycle. Then I get up, switch laundry, stretch, replenish my beverage, let the dogs out, etc.

    If I get on a roll, I just write until I run out of steam. *Then* I get up and move around and do all of the above. Of course, I don’t have lists to check, and I’m not a tweeter, but I am crazy about e-mail and tend to check that a lot, tho not on the weekends when I get those chances to write.

    Back to work you!


  • Posted March 24, 2011 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

    Hi Jen F!
    Laundry is the only household chore I do routinely. Not dishes or housekeeping. Sometimes even preparing dinner is a challenge. Luckily I have a supportive family, who doesn’t complain too much, and loves pizza!

    Thanks for stopping by!
    Now back to work me!


  • Posted March 25, 2011 at 10:20 PM | Permalink

    Distractions — I call it the usual writer’s way. I do a bit of blog posting every day. Nothing long but I hope informative. Face book gets a swipe. I’m afraid my biggest distractions is doing my husband’s billinga and trying to read a doctor’s writing, reading and writing. Still I generallg get to put in at least eight not solid hours with the latest work in progress. Here’s to distractions. They keep us sane.


  • Posted March 26, 2011 at 8:47 AM | Permalink

    It is easy for me not to be distracted when the writing is going well and I’m merrily typing away – but when I come to a stand still – oh yeah I rather clean the oven than sit in front of a blank page – well almost…


  • Posted March 26, 2011 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    Hi Janet!
    A toast! To distractions! They keep us sane.

    I LIKE it! (And will drink to it at a more respectable hour!)


  • Posted March 26, 2011 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    Hi Liz!
    Same here! As soon as I hit a snag I hop on the Internet to, uh, clear my head. Yeah. That’s it.

    But never, and I mean never ever, have I considered cleaning my oven as a distraction!!!


  • Posted March 30, 2011 at 12:26 AM | Permalink

    Wow, Wendy. That’s dedication. I know you call those distractions and I suppose they are, but they are also all things that are necessary to a writer – staying in touch, staying informed, etc. So you’re distractions are productive ones. Mine aren’t. Mine are just household chores, naps, and daydreaming.


  • Posted March 30, 2011 at 8:17 AM | Permalink

    Hi Regina!
    Love the portrait, btw! Notice I didn’t mention spider solitaire in my distractions, thanks to your intervention. But I do finish at least one challenging sudoku puzzle a day. As far as household chores – I’m not a fan and will use any excuse to avoid them! And I call daydreaming plotting!


  • Posted April 2, 2011 at 4:59 AM | Permalink

    Hi Wendy: I am such a dope, just now realized you moved! I love your new blog and the colors. Wow, it looks fabulous. I hope you got all your revisions of the revisions completed. I totally understand how you distract yourself. It is easy to get sucked into the Internet vortex when one is on the computer all the time and trying to figure out a tough scene!

    I can’t wait to get your debut novel 🙂


  • Posted April 2, 2011 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    Hi Christine!
    Thanks for stopping by! And welcome to my new home on the Internet!

    Still revising…due Monday. It’s NEVERENDING!!! But like my friend Joanne reminds me, I’m happy to be doing revisions for an editor!


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