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:~: Monday, August 27, 2007 :~:


What kind of writing distractions can you put up with and still be productive? Kids being loud nearby? Dog barking? Cat begging for attention? Can you write with music? The TV on? Noise in the kitchen? Can you keep IM on while you work, can the Internet be on or is that too much of a temptation? Can you tune things out or do distractions drive you wonky?

I'm learning I need quiet to be productive. I need the Internet because as I write I come across stupid research questions like the name of this street or a trendy restaurant in this town. I don't like to come back to those details later. I'd rather get them right in the first draft. I can't really write with music, though music inspires plots and characters in my head before I sit and write. The dog barking makes me want to slit my wrists, the kids screaming is too much for me to handle and as for the cat? Well, thank God we don't have one. In the evenings when the house is quiet and I CAN write, I do occasionally keep IM on so I can bug my CPs with research questions that pop up. And of course, there's always that food in the kitchen tempting me to give up the writing and go get a snack...

So how many distractions - and what kinds - can you handle and still be productive?



Blogger Joan Swan said...

So how many distractions - and what kinds - can you handle and still be productive?

Not near as many as I used to.

My "regular" McDonalds (my second office) is getting too busy for me to tune out, plus too many regulars who know me and want to chat, so I've resorted to moving to a quieter restaurant--what I call my "satellite office"--when I really want to get something done.

Kids don't bother me unless they need something which requires me to put the laptop aside.

Internet is a growing problem for me. Research sucks me in and before I know it, an hour of my writing time is *poof* gone.

No music--way distracting.

Family I can tune out, friends I can't. Or rather, shall I say, family I can be rude to, friends I can't.

Overall, I'm discovering I need a moderate amount of peace (not necessarily quiet) to write effectively/productively.

Great topic, E.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Kids don't bother me unless they need something which requires me to put the laptop aside.

ROFLMAO. My kids are little. They ALWAYS require me to put the laptop down.

And BTW, J. I blogged about you at my personal blog. I expect you to go over and outline your goals as well. ;) (Since you talked me into this scheme in the first place.)

11:47 AM  
Blogger Elisa said...

For me, it really depends on the day. Sometimes nothing bothers me, but sometimes everything does.

I can usually tune my kids if they're talking to each other (or screaming at each other LOL) but when they keep coming into my office--like my oldest does when he wants to make sure I'm updated on all the sports scores ;)--it really breaks my concentration.

7:04 PM  
Blogger B.E. Sanderson said...

I have a tough time tuning out distractions. That's why I started writing at night, when the house is quieter and since I've moved, so are the neighbors. The worst for me is other people's music. I can't think with someone else's stereo blaring in the background. (Funny, because I can work fine listening to my own music. *shrug* Maybe it's because I keep the bass turned down.)

7:09 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Elisa, me too. Sometimes I can deal with a lot more distractions than normal. And sometimes, the opposite.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Ugh, B.E. That pounding bass would drive anyone to drink. I can't concentrate in that type of environment either.

9:16 AM  
Blogger MaryF said...

I can have the TV on, and usually my dh and ds hanging around. I can even write with the internet and bouncing email icons, if I'm loving the story.

If I'm NOT.....I jump on ANY distraction to get away!

1:40 AM  

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