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.
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.
THE WASHING HAS TO BE DONE – NOW. OR PEOPLE MIGHT DIE
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.
THAT IRONING WILL NOT IRON ITSELF
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.
I’LL JUST POP TO THE SHOP NOW, WHILE IT’S QUIET
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.
IF I DON’T GO TO THE GYM NOW, I’LL GET OUT OF THE ROUTINE
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?