I’m currently lucky enough to be connected to a major theatre in Liverpool that is showing faith in me as a writer, and investing time and money to develop any potential I may have.

And I’m about to start work on completing the first draft and on subsequent re-writes of a full-length play, based on the notes I’m about to receive from the production team at the theatre.

It’s critical over the next three months I’m completely focused on these rewrites, the last thing I want is to look back in regret at an opportunity lost through a lack of commitment, or giving in to distraction.

Taking distraction to extreme. (Image by Matthew Lejune through Unsplash)

So, before I get my all- important notes in the next week or two and start the real work, I’ve decided to look ahead to my usual batch of diversions so they don’t catch me off guard.

I’ve narrowed it down to six, in no particular level of importance (okay, maybe the last one), but you may have more.  


 Okay, so there are no recorded deaths due to not putting a wash on, but that’s the level of gravitas we can place on it. And the reasons we give? Well, if we put the washing in the machine now, then we don’t have to do it later. But later is the time we should do it, because that’s the time we have stopped after a productive, uninterrupted days writing.

Yet, ignoring the logic of this, we leap up from our keyboards, sort out or smalls and our not so smalls, and throw them in the machine. And when the cycle finishes, we leap up from our keyboards again and hang the damp washing out. If we don’t, it will all be creased up; which neatly segments into my next excuse.


This is an indisputable fact. No pile of clothes will ever un-crease itself, sort out it’s collars and cuffs, and place itself neatly on a hanger. No skirt or top will look better just being left to just hang; though I have heard that this is possible in some cases. But until I start wearing skirts and women’s tops (a whole other blog in itself), I’ll just have to keep on ironing my shirts and jeans. Preferably however, not when I’m supposed to be writing that difficult second act. And under no circumstances should I use it as an excuse to iron socks. Ever.


For what, an emergency pepper? An essential artichoke? Is it not possible that pint of milk can wait a couple of hours? And the shops are only quiet first thing in the morning or late at night, where you might find the odd writer feeling damn smug their writing shift is done and are now out and about in his or her neatly ironed outfit.


Now this is a tricky one. Regular exercise is essential when we spend so much time sitting at a desk.  I find it is best a couple of nights a week after a couple of hours of writing has been done, and usually at this time it’s also least populated. It can also aid good sleep patterns.

Add those couple of visits a session at the weekend and you have a three-times a week gym routine. But then, for too many of us an excuse not to go to the gym usually ranks higher than a reason to interrupt our writing.

But as it says on a large plinth at my local gym, you can make progress, or you can make excuses. There’s nothing worse than a judgmental plinth, don’t you think?


Pop-ups; the internet equivalent of someone jumping into the middle of a private conversation.  The big danger if clicked onto it can lead to five or ten-minutes reading about our football team’s injury update or gossip regarding a celebrity you’ve have never heard of. So, as soon as you can, dismantle that pop-up!


This is the biggie. It’s evil. It’s accessible. It’s always there, tempting you for ‘just a quick look’, ruining your flow, and your attention. It only takes few seconds and you’re in, hooked into someone’s opinion on Twitter on something you may normally not be interested in, clicking on someone famous who’s trending just make sure they’ve not died, or a pointless photo on Facebook of someone’s pub meal. Why should we care?

But we do it. Then we go back to what we are writing and we need to readjust our thought process again. Some writers disconnect from the internet, this could be my next move.

How about you? Are you a slave to social media or do you have it neatly in its place? If so, what’s your secret?

So anyway, there’s my top six. And I didn’t even list writing or reading a blog. Nah, I don’t see a blog as a distraction…surely?


  1. All of the ago e. I could add baking that Apple pie before the apples go bad, the dishes wont wash themselves and the dogs need another walk. It’s a wonder I Get any writing done. Congrats on your new gig. Sound’s great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, those dishes won’t wash themselves is a good reason for a writer not to buy a dishwasher, as that then robs us of an excuse. Which reminds me, I must get another dog……

      Thanks for the congrats, enjoying so far!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Congrats on your new role, I hope it goes really well for you. Of course blogging isn’t a distraction! Nor is music, if you’re thinking of making or listening to any. The one you’ve missed out is the one we should all be doing in following the line set by our esteemed leader: making yet another coffee and going to the fridge to hack off another piece of cheese. He needs all the support for his ego than he can get at present, so we should help him out. Unless we’re too busy laughing at his latest mishap…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the congrats Clive, hard work but it’s going well so far.

      I haven’t heard this about the coffee and cheese. But it explains a lot, looking at him he should think about endorsing going to the gym to work off all that cheese.

      He’s priceless, as well as tasteless.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good to know and I’m sure it will turn out really well for you.

        Yes, he said it last week when he weighed into the working from home debate (pun intended). Priceless, tasteless, clueless.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great opportunity, Paul! It must be exciting to know that the theatre sees promise in your writing. Of course, you’ll throw yourself into it with the necessary time and energy required. I’d give up social media in a flash, but I’d try to make time for the exercise. I’m more creative when and feel better when I’m active.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Pete, it is a great opportunity and I intend to do as well as I can and hope that it’s good enough. I love a deadline, and there are several of those and that’s good for me, it keeps me focused.

      Recovering from a trapped nerve at the moment, but intend to be back in the gym soon.

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Paul, I’m delighted to hear the news about the theatre asking you to write the first draft of a play. You must let me know when tickets to watch it become available. Even if it’s only for dress rehearsal, I want to see it.

    I’m pleased to say that I cracked the social media problem. If I find myself on Twitter for more than 5 minutes, I tell myself to stop wasting time. I also tell myself, ‘After all; we’ve no idea how much of it we have left, do we, Hugh?’ It seems to work, as does only sticking to one social media platform.

    I used to iron socks and underpants, but that’s another story.

    Good luck with the writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for your comments Hugh, and it’s lovely of you to say you would come to see my play, really flattering.

    However, I haven’t actually been commissioned, it’s just as part of the development programme I am on that over the 9 months we have to complete our own full-length plays that we create individually from scratch. We’ve done our first draft and now we have three months to complete the rest of the play, however many drafts that may be.

    It could be – and this is the aim – that it gets commissioned by the theatre but in the three years they have only commissioned two so the odds are against it, but as part of being selected they will be taking an on-going interest so it doesn’t end after the 9 months.

    So sorry if the blog was confusing. That said, there will be a showcase in November when ten minutes of each play will be performed so there will be a performance of sorts to gauge audience reaction, but certainly not worth a trip up from South Wales!

    And congratulations on being a reformed underpants and socks ironer! Kicking it must have been tough!


    1. Not at all confusing, Paul, but thanks for explaining it all. In any case, I look forward to coming to a theatre to see your first fully commissioned play.

      When you say ‘…over the nine months we have to complete our own full-length plays that we create individually from scratch’, how long will the play be? Is the first draft that you mentioned, the first half of the play, or something less?
      Given that you have three months to complete the rest of the play, I’m guessing there is still a lot to do?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Hugh. The play needs to be between 70 to 90 minutes long so given the writing format we are working to somewhere around 80 pages maximum.

        I was given my notes and though positive, I need to look mostly at the structure. Having not written much theatre, certainly nowhere near full-length, I’m finding how to change between scenes and time frames the most challenging. So yes, a lot still to do!

        I’m warming up by writing a few lines of a blog at a time so eventually I have a fill blog every few weeks to publish.

        Thanks for your interest.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: