My Distractions are Bigger Than Yours

For all those who are anxiously waiting for another episode of Mike Finnegan, I apologize. He will be making his next appearance next Friday when I have had time to write another episode.  For now, I only have time and energy for a brief update.

I’ve had my novel on my mind constantly these last few weeks and it’s been driving me crazy that I haven’t had any significant undisturbed time to really dig in and build up my characters.  It’s not that I can’t work with the little ones around, I can.  It’s just that the quality suffers.  I read through a few passages that I’d written while being besieged with requests and even physically pulled away from the keyboard every few minutes and found that although the writing is okay, the characterization really suffers.  When I can’t focus, I can’t get inside my character’s heads and live the scene through their eyes.  And for me, one of the most vital requirements of a great book is that the reader feel fully immersed in the characters.

For first drafts this isn’t as big of problem, but now I’m deep into near final drafts where I’m trying to hone and refine all the different aspects of the story, the inability to find that laser focus and actually work on it is driving me crazy. I’ve played with the idea of starting a small contest called “My Distractions are Bigger than Yours” and feature pictures and videos of all the crazy things that happen when people are trying to work.

This would be the first submission –

Creepy Baby HandYes, that’s a hand reaching through my desk and touching my screen. At least she can’t reach the monitor power button from there, the hand itself is distracting enough, having the screen turn off and on would be the last straw.  Sometimes I keep goodies like jelly beans that I can offer the hand, sometimes the hand brings me gifts like small toys.

On rare occasions I get dual hands, there is a second hole in my desk on the other side meant for cables and baby D will come and play along.  Sometimes the hands want to play catch with each other and get angry when it doesn’t work.

Where there are little hands there are also little bodies trying to sit on my feet.  The way this is going I’m not going to finish the book until my youngest starts going to school!

What are your worst distractions?


6 thoughts on “My Distractions are Bigger Than Yours

  1. Maybe you need some sterring form a beta reader at this point. Sometimes, after you’ve been over the same sections again and again, it’s hard to see the words anymore.

    My problem is not so much distraction but weariness from staring at computer screens all day. It’s hard to spend 8 hours in front of one and then go home and do it some more. No doubt we’ve discussed this before, since I think your blog was the first I ever followed.


    • I’m so close to being ready for a beta reader it both scares and excites me. Once I get finished with this draft comb through and straighten out a few mangled story lines then I’ll be asking a few trusted friends.

      I don’t know how you can stand working all day at a computer and then return to it for fiction and blog writing later. Part of me wishes I could have that sort of freedom but the other half is pretty happy not having a job in the corporate world.


  2. Yes, distractions can make us better writers. My lively young distraction is now 33 years old and I sometimes wish he would distract me more. I’ve replaced him with cycling, housework, chocolate and red, red wine.
    That hand is so very cute.


    • One day I’ll miss all the craziness and not know what to do with myself when the house is quiet and empty. Until that day I’m just looking forward not to have any in diapers!


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