Sometimes, when writing, I just need to get up and get away from the document for a handful of minutes. I lose interest, strength to go on, and know that if I keep typing (not writing, typing), nothing good will come. I need to stretch, take a breath, and not allow myself to not scream “I’M THE WORST WRITER IN THE WORLD.”

Let’s be honest, we’ve all been there.

Anyway, I used to clear my mind by doing the normal social media rounds (Twitter, Facebook, GReader, etc…), but realized that instead of clearing my mind, they distract me even more and 10,000 clicks later I’m nowhere closer to coming up with a witty retort for my main character. So I’ve stopped doing that (for the most part…) Since then, I’ve been trying different distraction techniques to see if anything could let me breathe for five minutes without fully sucking me in. A quick yoga stretch? Running around the apartment to let my energy out? Singing to whatever Glee song happens to come on my iTunes?

The other day I tried polishing my nails. They were short, brittle, so why not spice them up. And then this happened:

Me: I put glitter on my finger nails! See?
S: Why’d you do that? That’s dumb. (pause) Oh wait, you meant to. (pause) They look great!

And then we laughed. And then I got back to writing. He means well, he really does.

What are some of your mini-distraction techniques? 

5 thoughts on “Distractions

  1. bwtaylor75 says:

    When I take a small break, I’ll maybe get a drink of water and stretch. If I know that I’m not going to get anything productive done, I won’t write anything at all. But that’s just me. Some people force themselves to write but I can’t do that. Sometimes a break can last days for me and then BAM!, my brain cooks up a solution to my story problems. Like the past three days where I haven’t written much and suddenly just before I fell asleep last night a solution presented itself and now I’m ready to write again. I wonder if I ever get a book deal and deadlines loom if I’ll be able to take three days off. Probably not. Every writer is different and I would imagine that the best thing is to know your limits or what works best for you. Needless to say, I won’t be painting my nails anytime soon! 🙂

    Thanks for giving us a little distraction!

  2. thespeckledpalate says:

    I’m bad about this when I edit photos, so I try my best to keep at it. If I need a break, I’ll get up, take the dog outside, do some cleaning around me, organize something or check Facebook. … Trying to get away from the Facebook thing.

    Glad I’m not the only one who does this! Good luck with your writing!

  3. Susan Fields says:

    I’m always amazed at how just stepping away from the computer can help clear my mind and get me going again. My favorite thing to do is to take the dog for a walk, though that’s a lot longer than 5 minutes.

  4. Cathy says:

    I love reading up on astrology, and watching random Nicholas Cage movie quotes on youtube. Never fails..best distraction.

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