Jennifer Hillier

Top 10 writing distractions

Apr 26, 2011 | Uncategorized

As if writing all by itself isn’t hard enough, it feels like distractions are everywhere, lurking in dark corners, just waiting to mess with me.

Here are my top 10 writing distractions:

10.  My husband. I love Steve, but the dude is NOISY when he’s home. And he gets the cats all riled up! And since my office is right above his, I can hear him when he’s on a call… except I can’t actually understand anything he says when his door is closed. All I can hear is, “Wah wah? Wah wah wah wah wah. Ha ha ha ha! Waaaaah.”

9.  Birds. I have birds (no idea what kind) that hang around outside my window. They have a knack for making this weird “Hoo hoo!” sound right when I’m deep into a scene. It’s annoying as hell, but I can’t seem to make them leave.

8.  Construction. They’re still building new houses in my neighborhood (thanks so much, sucky economy – this neighborhood should have been finished three years ago) and the noise wakes me up every morning at 7 a.m. I am so not a morning person. Waking up that early to the sound of hammering is not a good way to start my day.

7.  Facebook & Twitter. I fantasize every day about disappearing from these sites, but then how would I know what everybody’s up to? Pretty much everyone I know has succumbed to social networking, even my mother. Not being on these sites would feel like everybody else is at a party I wasn’t invited to. Which is sort of unacceptable.

6.  Blogging. Let’s be honest, blogging is a distraction. The half hour we spend writing a post could be the half hour we spend writing a new chapter. But I actually think this is a good distraction, because the support and encouragement of fellow bloggers/writers is invaluable, am I right?

5.  Family. Yes, family can be a distraction… albeit a good one. I just had an awesome Easter weekend with my cousin and his wife, which shot my writing schedule to hell, but it was totally worth it to spend quality time with them both.

4.  Friends. My friends have gotten pretty good at knowing my schedule and the times I tend to be writing, but every once in a while, I’ll get a text that goes like this: OMG where are you? You won’t believe what just happened! And of course, I have to find out what happened.

3.  Books. There are definitely days (weeks) where I’d rather be reading than writing. But sometimes I spend too much time reading, and not enough time writing. It’s a delicate balance.

2.  Television. I’ve always been a TV watcher, but it just seems like television is SO GOOD these days! Dexter! True Blood! The Walking Dead! The Borgias! Game of Thrones!  Mad Men! 

1.  My BlackBerry. I rue the day I got this f&%$ing thing. Prior to owning this evil Canadian invention (what’s up, Waterloo?) I had a regular flip phone that never rang.  Ever. It was used for emergencies only, and I forgot I had it half the time. Now my phone beeps and pings and trills all day, and I know all you guys with smart phones know exactly what I mean. I stick it in a drawer when I’m writing, but curiosity has me checking it more often than I should.

What’s your biggest writing distraction?