Most of us are familiar with the regular, run-of-the-mill distractions that rob us of our productivity and wreak havoc with our peace.
The constantly ringing phone, the barking dog begging for attention, the kids at war with one another, the numerous requests to find lost items by our loved ones.
Not to mention the countless hours enslaved to social media, and "the next shiny object" syndrome.
But, what about the difficult stuff that touches our lives that drains us and causes us to lose our focus and direction?
- A good friend suffers bad health
- Someone you know dies unexpectedly
- You lose all your online projects due to a devastating computer virus
- A financial set-back sabotages your creative game plan
- A divorce hits home
Wouldn't you agree?
And one thing's for certain...if you're experiencing more "internal conflict" than the characters in your stories, you've got a problem.
Still, sometimes the worst happens to the best of us.
Life's periodic blows can "sucker punch" us, leaving us with little defense.
Unfortunately, I've had one or two of these "bouts" this year.
As such, here's what I've learned in its arena:
- Prayer helps. Remember "this too shall pass."
- Sometimes the best you can do is the best you can do. Stay in peace.
- Having a supportive network is almost as therapeutic as medicine. Spend quality time with those you care for. They're great morale boosters.
- Even when you can't handle major writing assignments and projects, keep a journal. Often difficult times impart important lessons and fodder for creative pieces for the future. Another way to temporarily capture your thoughts and emotions is to record them on a tape player or other electronic device. Voice recognition software is yet another option.
- In the words of Sarah Palin, "Don't retreat, reload!" Can I be honest here? If you're attempting to write professionally, for pay, most editors don't really care about your personal life...unless you're personal friends. Which means that sometimes we have to bounce back and move on. It may sound harsh, but it's true. Remember the popular slogan in Hollywood..."The show must go on."
- When possible, have a Plan B. For example, it could include having an "emergency fund" in place, or backing up your computer files, or diversifying your writing and your roster of clients.
How about you?
What do you do when you're "in-the-thick" of it? How do you successfully manage writer's distractions?
What would you add here?