Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Distracted Writer by Shannon Redmon

Every been smack dab in the middle of writing an amazing story scene when the dog, cat or toddler runs into your room or your wonderful partner plops down for an untimely discussion that completely rips you from the concentrated effort to be creative?

Then this post is for you.
What most non-writers don’t understand is the deep amount of focus writing requires to complete a book, an article or even a title. I say most of us, because there are a few rare gems that can write during chaos, but I’m not one of those.

Are you?

For me to provide quality storytelling, I must be lost in the creative spaces of my mind, allowing myself to be in the scene, experiencing the drama of the moment. Little interruptions, an innocent question, or an untimely knock on the door pulls me from my world of creativity.

For our loved ones and friends, who don’t share a love of writing stories, they think we can simply write anywhere, during any moment, at any time. I wish I could. My word count would shoot through the roof every week, but for most of us that’s just not the case. We need to be alone, in a quiet, undistracted space where our minds are free to explore the ideas God provides.

Here are some ways to keep writing distractions to a minimum:

1) Have a dedicated writing space.
I know some people who write in a closet surrounded by their clothes. Some write at the dining room table in the early morning hours before their family arises. Others pick a favorite chair and face it in a corner, or you might be blessed with your own office. Here’s a picture of my writing nook in a spare bedroom. Wherever we write, we must make sure when we sit down our mind, body and loved ones know, this is the space and time for word count.

2) No TV in the writing space.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good movie or binge-worthy TV show, but when it comes to writing, the television needs to be off or better yet in another room. Maybe there are some authors out there who can manage to piece together a novel during the ever-growing number of commercial breaks, but most of us need to hit the off button. Instead, use television as a reward when you reach that daily writing goal.

3) Wear noise cancelling headphones or play music.
Sometimes I get tired of sitting in my little nook and want to be with my husband but still need to accomplish word count. This is a great time for headphones. Whether you like to play music (I always end up singing to the lyrics) or listen to white noise (more my speed), headphones can help shut out distractions. Make sure to use comfortable rubber-tipped ear buds. I also have an app that creates rain or ocean waves. I can increase the volume to drown out any extraneous distractions.

One note: Make sure your family realizes this is what you are doing. Otherwise, they’ll be talking and think you’re listening when you aren’t. Also, they might need to tell you when the kitchen timer sounds so your supper doesn’t burn. Or better yet – let them cook that night!

4) Turn off all social media pings on your computer.
I love all my FB friends, but when I’m writing, the message notification always pulls me from my story. It’s like an addiction – I must know who has messaged me and what is happening. Then before I know it, I’ve spent hours perusing social media or the internet without getting any writing accomplished.

5) Hire some help.
If you can’t get any writing accomplished due to the sweet pitter patter of little feet, whether it be children or your pets, then it might be time to hire that responsible teenager looking to make a few extra bucks. First and foremost, look for a trustworthy babysitter or dog walker. You will be right down the hall for any emergencies, but let’s hope there are none.

I hope these tips help any distracted writers out there to find the quiet time to write because everyone needs more quality stories to read!

Happy writing!

Most writers need to be alone, in a quiet, undistracted space where our minds are free to explore the ideas God provides. @shannon_redmon @MaryAFelkins #amwriting #distractedwriter

Shannon Redmon remembers the first grown up book she checked out from the neighborhood book mobile. A Victoria Holt novel with romance, intrigue, dashing gentlemen and ballroom parties captivated her attention. For her mother, the silence must have been a pleasant break from non-stop teenage chatter, but for Shannon, those stories whipped up a desire and passion for writing.
There’s nothing better than the power of a captivating novel, a moving song or zeal for a performance that punches souls with awe. A rainbow displayed after a horrific storm or expansive views on a mountaintop bring nuggets of joy into our lives. Shannon hopes her stories immerse readers into that same kind of amazement, encouraging faith, hope and love, guiding our hearts to the One who created us all.

Shannon’s writing has been published in Spark magazine, Splickety magazine, the Lightning Blog, The Horse of My Dreams a compilation book with other authors published by Revell, and the Seriously Write blog. Her stories have been selected as a semi-finalist and finalist of the ACFW Genesis Contest and won first place in the Foundation’s Awards. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. The StoryMoore Blog is named in memory of her father, Donald Eugene Moore.

Connect with Shannon:
The StoryMoore Blog

Shannon's debut, Cave of Secrets, releases in October 1st and is available now for pre-order.