distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

Without Distractions… I Discover More Distractions

Without Distractions… I Discover More Distractions

So I’m working. Lots of work. Work all month, work next month. Deadlines, freelance. Deadlines, writing—but those are the fun ones. Life though, it piles up. Woke this morning to THE FEAR. We know each other well, THE FEAR and I, but we’re not friends. The lack of a Twitter stream does help me, but I’m not cured entirely of my bad habits. Not yet.

My mom says it takes something like four months to change your daily routines. Must. Keep. Trying. It’s been, what? Not even a week?

For example, I’m right now (1) reworking some facts in chapter one of my novel while (2) listening to Space Oddity while (3) taking breaks to read Dear Sugar columns while (4) looking up old Liz Phair songs while (5) keeping a running list of possible title ideas while (6) looking up Borges stories while (7) checking in on Jezebel while (8) wishing a dear friend happy birthday while (9) mapping out my freelance schedule while (10) texting with my baby sister while (11) signing a book to send off at the post office while (12) wishing I’d brought a Band-Aid while (13) rereading chapter two while (14) IM’ing with E while (15) cracking my neck while (16) thinking of The Road, which I just saw and which I thought was the most brilliant dystopian while (17) wondering if I could ever write a story that important while (18) instead just writing this blog post.

It never ends, does it? Social networking is not the problem. The problem is dear old me.

For my next trick, I’ll shut myself up in a discarded refrigerator without cell phone or internet and… write a couple novels or something. When I come out, if I come out, I’ll be a whole new me.

I would like to learn to meditate. I regret not learning at Yaddo when I had the chance. You may think it’s simple, but for someone so addled it’s near impossible to sit still for a half hour not-thinking. It was recommended to me to try going here.

So add (19) wondering if I should learn how to meditate, if that would help?

Back to (1).


16 responses to “Without Distractions… I Discover More Distractions”

  1. That’s totally what I do too, when I try to eliminate distractions. I just find different ones.

    I’ve concluded that I really work best around distractions, and with deadlines. Crazy, huh?

    (is the book mine? is it is it?) :))

    • I used to think I work best around distractions and maybe I do, but being away at the writers colony showed me how much I can get done when I am forced to be alone with myself… I know it’s in me. I just have to dig deeper than I even thought to find it in real life I guess.

      (And yes!)

  2. One time, I was supposed to go to a seminar called “Meditation/Silent Prayer for People with ADD.” I got sidetracked looking at stuff online and missed it.

    I feel your pain.

    I wonder, however, if you need distractions? I do. I can’t be full-on for hours with my writing. I need to break it up, take a walk, check Twitter, comment on blogs.

    • Bryan, too funny!!

      I agree that breaking things up is good for me (and for my stiff neck). I’ll think on that suggestion… there must be a way to make this work.

  3. You’ve inspired me to update my Life List. Sure, that is my own distraction, but all I am distracting myself from is boring old life stuff like fretting over the bank balance, so I welcome the distraction.

    • Now I want to distract myself further by writing a Life List!

      What’s the new entry on the list? Curious!

      • I added a bunch of things I’d been thinking of, but the one in particular was #56. I’ve been thinking it for a while and added it because of you. (I have, of course, NO idea what shape that goal might take.)

        • I just love #40, btw. Don’t worry. This will happen.

          Thank you for #56! I really hope that happens. You must have seen my post on Verla’s!

    • Ack, sorry! WordPress is hooked up to automatically post links to Twitter… I wonder if I should turn that off to avoid distracting my writing comrades!


  4. Dear dear Nova! I wish we’d had this conversation before! Everybody’s brain is addled, no one can sit for half an hour thinking of nothing! (Please don’t shut yourself in a refrigerator!)

    • I don’t know how you do it! To clarity, maybe up above I should have said “not-worrying” instead of simply “not-thinking.” I still really want to learn….

      I’ll stay away from the fridge, promise.

  5. (7) checking in on Jezebel while

    the dreaded #7. jezebel always a killah.

    one thing i will say about social media & writers: we have bought into the line that we need social media in order to promote ourselves and our work, yet i find myself “promoting” work that isn’t getting written because i’m doing stuff like this. sigh.

    • I completely agree… it’s a vicious circle. There will be nothing to “promote” if I don’t get these pages done!

      Wishing you luck, too…

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