Writing Through Distractions

It is hard to stay focused on writing when you are constantly distracted, so what do you do? How do you get that desired word count in when you can’t sit for more than a few seconds at the computer? The only advice I can give is, don’t be so hard on yourself; be flexible!

I began the process of buying a new home and selling my condo last July. The condo sold within ten days, the house purchased two weeks later; it was a busy month. Now all I had to do was box everything and move…what a nightmare. You never know how much you accumulate until you start this process; I put a pack-rat to shame!

I tried to leave my office for last but it didn’t quite work out that way. When my computer and printer went into a box, I felt as though I would lose too much time so I loaded Word onto my iPad and continued on. I also kept pads, pens and pencils with me

The move was smooth but by now, my mind was focused on the mountain of boxes and where to put everything. My writing took a back seat for a few days as exhaustion moved in.

When I managed to carve out a space to write, I began to feel as I could see light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Then came the apples!

My new neighbor has a crab apple tree, an enormous one and when the wind blows, it rains apples and it has been very windy these last weeks! At first, I didn’t know what I heard; it sounded like something in the ducts or someone on the roof.

Each thump and thud interrupted my trend of thought so, I rummaged through a few boxes and was thankful when I found my wireless headphones. Now I could tune out the distractions with something I preferred to listen to.

Those apples cost me a few night’s sleep until I got used to their noise; I sleep right through it now.

My two-year-old Yorkie, who has always lived in a condo, was not used to the house and would go into a howling rage if she heard any strange sounds as she tried to defend against what she perceived as a threat. Some days it’s like a circus around here but, I keep a bit of time and space to write; it gives me an escape from all the chaos.

What I am saying in all of this is just to be gentle with yourself. Life goes on all around you so learn to work with it. It’s okay to write one thousand words instead of fifteen-hundred, or don’t write at all for the day. Stress is an enemy so don’t let it be yours!

You are the writer, in charge of your prose; you make the rules. You can break, bend or flex them in whatever way you want, to achieve your goals.

Best wishes,


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