500 and 1 Words At A Time: Distractions

The maintenance man is here looking for the source of a water issue.

Every school district but one is closed around us due to ice.

Snow is falling, blowing, and piling up.

Temperature dropped.

And for the moment, my plans for structured writing have gone out the window.

Structured writing, the act of working on one project with a specific intent, in this case continuing to edit, revise, and expand Puddles and Whiskers. I have notes. I have lots of arrows and slashes across the text. These notes, arrows, and slashes need coaxing to become something more and part of that something more is some quiet and not having to wonder how much longer before I get a call from the school announcing early release due to snow piles and ice.

I can bang out a few hundred words, like this soon to be 500, in no time. However, as I have stated before much of what has been posted due to the nature of the blog I like to keep. Thus, unless otherwise stated, such as Puddles and Whiskers Drybush and Wash Phase X, was created on the fly.

Structured writing requires, for me, a space (I have two of those-one for summer and one for winter); time (I have that); notes (I have those too); and a limited number of distractions (I have those too in spades).

Distractions include, but are not limited to

  • work necessary around the house, such as dishes, cooking, the lawn, or garbage
  • children being louder than “normal”
  • children or other adults interrupting writing time, important questions, information, or fun interruptions are acceptable. Asking me who I think would win in a fight Hulk or whateverothersuperheroofthemoment is not important or fun because the answer never is what the questioner wants to hear
  • loud noises; out here is much quieter than our previous, hell any place we have ever lived before, thus loud noises is pretty broad now, typically the children playing outside my office window
  • maintenance work, I love our maintenance man, he works rain or shine, enjoys his work, takes pride in his work, and has no problem working later than scheduled. However, maintenance work is noisy and that is distracting, especially since I like to know what happened or how the fix is moving along
  • pressing business, there are always things that need to get done…you know the rest

So what do I do when distractions keep me from the structured writing I had planned? Wait, if the distraction is temporary. Usually, this works well, the distraction goes away and resume writing. When the distraction is longer, such as a day of life getting in the way, find some other writing to do, such as a blog post about distractions (practice those writing skills) or find some other way to work on structured writing that requires less cognitive processing, such as finding a section of a story to make new notes upon or find something else to do entirely…no sense wasting a day.

 

 

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