Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Driven to Distraction

Distractions. They're all around us. TV, iPods, e-readers, Internet, other people, arguments, noisy neighbours, work, bills, money worries, the news - whatever it is, and we've all fallen prey to some of them at some time in our lives, it can drive us to distraction and prevent us from writing. Life is hectic at the best of times and there are many pressures on our time. There never seems to be enough hours in the day sometimes does there?

But have you ever stopped to think about how much potential time you are wasting? Time that has the potential to be your writing time? I know that there are some distractions that you can do little about: an elderly relative who needs looking after, your children that are and should be a priority, a work commitment that will enhance your future job prospects or lead to a promotion - that kind of distraction is inevitable and a part of life that we've signed up for. In those circumstances we need to just keep our head down and get on with it. Our parents and children, for different reasons, are not going to be around for ever an so, yes, of course  we need to devote as much time as we can to them.

But does this mean we have to give up on our writing dreams? Do we have to stop writing completely? I don't think we do. In fact, in times of great stress or intense busy periods, writing can be the one thing that gets us through it all. Writing down our thoughts and feelings can help us bring order and a sense of meaning and understanding to the chaos and apparent nonsense that is tearing around us.

You might only have five minutes a day to jot something down, but those five minutes a day add up to 35 minutes a week, seventy minutes a fortnight or 140 minutes a month -  that's 2 hours and twenty minutes of writing time - the first draft of a short story, maybe? Or a rough chapter of a novel? It all counts.

So, in the middle of the hurricane that is your life, take that five minutes, in the eye of the storm, to write. You might not think that you can get much down on paper in five minutes, well not much that will be any good anyway, but remember it's a first draft, not perfection and write it anyway - your sanity may depend on it!

Happy writing



Nick Wilford said...

I like this post, Julie. I definitely feel like writing keeps me sane! I think it's the biggest distraction of all - in a good way. Helps put all those worries in perspective.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Yes, Julie, given our circumstances it is a miracle that anything is ever written, but probably when the storm subsides a little, it is that very storm that provides our creativity. :0)

Julie P said...

Hi, Nick

I often wonder how people who don't write cope with the stress!
I find that writing enables me to retreat into myself when I need to recharge. Writing works well for me if someone has really annoyed me and I can write it into a story!

Problems do seem smaller if written about - I think you're right!


Julie P said...

I agree, Carole. It is the turbulance in our life that provides us with something interesting to write about.

Julie xx