Writing when distractions and reasoning are in battle

Distractions – First level

Distractions pop their little heads up constantly, all vying for attention. My attention. Each one wants to draw me further away from my writing.

“If you tend to me” says one as another swiftly interrupts, shouting “You will feel much better if you spend time with me first.”

“I need doing first” butts in one more, then “You didn’t get to me yesterday, so best get to me today.” another one chimes in.

Attempting to keep up with them is like traversing a zig-zag cross-country running race.

It takes great might to ignore the broken fingernail that keeps snagging on everything, the rubbish bin the garbage driver just emptied, the floors that are long overdue for a vacuum and mop. On and on it goes.

distractions – second level

Head Boss Distractor steps in when you do manage to engage selective hearing on his subordinates. He employs all manner of persuasion techniques.

“Picture how nice your home will look if you do the cleaning and then sort the items out in that cupboard that you keep putting off doing. Won’t you feel much better when that is done? Then you will have a clear mind without those tasks nagging at you to be done. Won’t that help you focus on writing?”

And as if that is not enough, he comes in with “Isn’t it better to get the easier tasks out of the way first? You know how to do the cleaning and you know what you want to keep and what you will discard in those items. Writing is hard! Do you even know what you are going to write?”

Now, the upside of Head Boss Distractor being the one talking, is that the hundreds of junior distractors are quiet. There is only one voice to contend with. He may be mighty and have all the skills that took him to top job, but it is possible to defeat him.


Time to employ Sense of Reason. My SOR, not Head Boss Distractor’s. He has had his turn. Now it is my turn for my SOR mentor to step in.

Sense of Reason begins, “Certainly, you can choose to do the cleaning and that sorting. You can also choose to file a fingernail, bring the bin in, pull that weed out, repot that plant, dust the furniture, and check your social media and email. By the way, have you planned dinner? Do you need to go to the shops? If you go out, is there any other errands you can do in that trip?”

Already Sense of Reason has my attention. I am listening. It is true, yes, that once I begin one task in the home, it leads to another, then another, and another and is never ending.

“You do know, from all the mentors you have listened to, that it is best to write in the mornings. Writing is hard but not impossible. It will only happen with you. The words will not appear unless you put your fingers to the keyboard and start tapping away. You may not have the idea when you sit down but once that blank document is open and your fingers are set upon the keys, the ideas will come to you.”

Now, there is a good point, and one that has repeatedly proven to be true. I notice that Head Boss Distractor is barely audible now. Sense of Reason is not yelling, just speaking in a gentle voice. Head Boss Distractor is being drowned out.

Sense of Reason continues, “All those other minor tasks, are they going to give you a sense of accomplishment to the calibre that you feel when you have completed a writing project? Which one gives you ongoing joy and boosts your self-esteem?”

Battle Winner

There is no doubt that having a tidy, clean, and organised home brings me joy. Writing is next level though. It energises and each time I have written something to completion, it chips a little more off the heavy boots of self-doubt that make it difficult to move forward.

Listening to Head Boss Distractor, and all his little minions would result in those tasks in the home being done. Sure. It will not energise though to the degree writing does. Once I have written a piece, the energy from that is like a turbo boost and those home tasks get completed in half the time. That is a greater win for me.

I am sure this dance with procrastination, distractions and reasoning will happen on many more occasions. Hopefully, the feeling of being energised, accomplishment and less self-doubt will stay in my memory to reach the decision much sooner, of sitting down to write first is the best choice for me.

writing desk and equipment

Image credit: Pixabay.com


Another piece I wrote about when it is time to write and inspiration is not with you Time to Write but need Inspiration?

Need motivation? I found this video helpful Writing Motivation: Who Will Be Next?


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