Writing distractions Good vs. Evil
So early Saturday morning I had nestled myself in front of my keyboard, cracked my knuckles twice for good measure, and was prepared for a quiet and long productive day of writing. I needed to spit out a problematic chapter that I had been battling for the better part of a week and with both Darling Daughter and Wonderous off to cottages for the weekend it seemed a cinch. Ahhh... I sighed as I drank from my cup filled to the brim with caffeine. Easy peasy right? Wrong.
Maybe 2 sentences in I felt like someone was watching me. You know that creepy feeling. But how could that be? No one was home but me. My writing studio aka my dining room felt bright and cheery as I had the patio door curtains open allowing the sunlight to stream in. It's long sunbeam stretching all the way across the dining room floor, er the MyBook30 Studio floor and into the living room. No fancy name for that room. Anyhow, I thought what could it be that was making me feel all creepy like?
Then I caught something move out of the corner of my eye and turning towards the patio doors there were 8 little beady black eyes staring at me. Trust me when I say I jumped. And swore. WTF??? The raccoons had returned. SH%T! I got up and walked over to the door and saw 4 raccoons standing on the deck staring at me. The Mom and her 3 babies, and clearly she had done as good job as they appeared well fed and almost fully grown. The SAME Mom and 3 babies that the Wildlife Removal Company had extracted from the wall behind the toilet in Wonderous's bathroom back in early May. The Mom needed a place to give birth and felt the Chimney and it's attached one bedroom condo was the perfect spot. The stork arrived all right and we were serenaded late at night by tiny cute raccoon squeaks and cries until the Wildlife Removal Company delivered them their eviction notice. I guess what was surprising was that the Company said they would NEVER come back once removed. Funny, it seems they didn't get that same memo.
Standing at the window watching them I fought off the urge to say "Welcome back! Fresh towels and linens are in the closest and this time could you maybe not watch Wonderous when he showers? He's shy you know." Instead I banged hard on the glass "SHOO!!! GO AWAY!!!" along with a few F-Bombs for good measure. Clearly rattled the 4 raccoons just stared at me then slowly turning they went down the steps and into the yard. So I did what anyone else would do, I raced out into my yard (thank god I had decided not to write in the nude this time) and proceeded to tell them to SHOO again. And for good measure I was packing my trusty water gun. The 4 of them just looked at me and proceeded to climb up the tree and back onto my roof. I tried laying down a suppressing fire of water thinking that would deter them but I learned that cheap water guns from the Dollar Store are not effective at laying down suppressing fire, er uh water. Standing back I was forced to admit defeat as the 3 of them were hanging in the tree and Mom was on the roof peering over and no doubt mocking me. I spent the rest of the day periodically checking on them while trying to get that pesky chapter completed. No dice and finally calling it day around 5pm I ventured over to the Moose and admitted defeat with some Barking Squirrel.
So all this got me to thinking what is the difference between a good distraction and a bad (Evil) distraction when it comes writing. So hoping this will help you as you battle your own writing distractions I present to you my own Top 10 List of Good vs. Bad (Evil) Writing Distractions.
1) A good writing distraction is when said raccoons arrived unannounced on your doorstep without a reservation and you have to shoo them away for fear they will give Wonderous nightmares again.
2) A bad writing distraction is when make believe wildlife appear on the doorstep of your imagination and you get up and walk outside looking for even a chipmunk or squirrel to shoo away. Not satisfied you start chasing chipmunks down your street and over into the field across the street and 2 blocks and 2 hours later later you return so worn out you need a nap.
3) A good writing distraction is when you are stuck and you go for that 45 minute bike ride around the neighborhood clearing your head and then mentally creating and writing away in same head and upon return that chapter falls nicely into place.
4) A bad writing distraction is when you head to the bathroom and upon coming out you refold the clean laundry that you have yet to put away because you refolded it 2 days ago when you were looking for a distraction. Not content you clean out the linen closet for the 3rd time in the past 5 days for exactly the same reason.
5) A good writing distraction is when head downstairs to the basement where it's cool and quiet and for the next 20 minutes you stretch and bend your whole body getting the kinks out and you even throw in a little meditation for good measure. The feel good vibes from it clearing your head and upon return to your keyboard the difficult dialogue you had been pecking at magically transforms itself into Shakespeare like prose.
6) A bad writing distraction is sliding over to eBay and searching for that one thing you have been meaning to replace for-like-ever. You know that missing Duran Duran cassette that had gotten chewed up in the tape deck of your Saturn on the road trip to Virginia Beach back in '91.
7) A good writing distraction is spending some quality time shooting hoops with your Little Tykes Basketball set that you have set up in your living room for exactly these moments.
8) A bad writing distraction is having the hockey or football game on the TV, and where YOUR team is NOT playing that day, in the living room just out of view but within earshot with the volume just loud enough you can hear the roar of the crowd when there is a score or big play. Meaning you get up from your keyboard and walk over to watch. Many times.
9) A good writing distraction is knowing that for the past 5 hours you have written quality work and it's simply time to step away. But not before saving your work in 3 different places first.
10) A bad writing distraction but an overall very good choice is when you simply have had enough and you give yourself a treat and head over to the Moose, your own personal oasis and slice of heaven. Catching up on the patio with the regulars over a few Barking Squirrel and Wings you gather enough new writing material for your next 2 books. And that's never a bad thing!