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Friday, July 29, 2011


Friday Speak Out!: Using Distractions to Your Advantage, Guest Post by Susan A. Black

Using Distractions to Your Advantage

by Susan A. Black

If you are anything like the vast majority of writers in the business today, you will no doubt curse the vast majority of external stimuli right down to the very ground when it comes to the matter of distracting you from your paper-thin level of focus. Of course, it is rather simple to become so engrossed in a piece of epically interesting work to the point where the rest of the world is filtered out to a pleasing blur, but when the really tedious work fills your day, your mind will always be looking for the slightest reason to divert your concentration and, it has to be said, will usually do a pretty good job of it too!

Sadly, there is still no magic pill available to relieve writer’s block in an instant, or at least none available on the this side of the law, but such is not to say there aren’t a few other ways of using what would normally be the bane of your existence to your advantage. The key to the whole situation is simply a brief modification of attitude, which will be explained…

The simple fact of the matter is that nobody else can cure your writer’s block of disinterest in your project because it is entirely psychological and confined to your own mind. Furthermore, knowing it is all in your mind can often make the problem worse as it is human nature to sit and dwell of it. However, an article published recently gave some simple tips to get back on track and, well let’s just say so far so good!

The long and short of the matter is taking whatever it is that it plaguing your progress and turning into a positive. For example, general writer’s block where your brain seems to set in stone is a good indication that the poor thing is going to blow a fuse – so give it a rest. Sure, you might eat up 20 minutes on a quick walk but you might also waste two hours beating yourself up in front of a blank screen if you don’t!

In times of high stress and no pages flowing forth, never use the ‘Too busy to take a phone-call’ line as you might be doing yourself a huge injustice. The same applies as above; a 20 minute call will do you the world of good compared to another relentlessly unsatisfying spell at the desk. And who knows, the person on the other end may just be the inspiration you were looking for.

This goes on to include all friends, family members, kids and so on – all of whom may have a unique insight into the topic you’re hacking away at without you even knowing about it. Indeed, a 12 year-old may have little insights into the history leading up to the popularization of Women’s Lib, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have an insightful and potentially golden opinion on the current way of things. New perspectives breed new life, so use them!

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Susan A. Black  writes on behalf of her favorite catnapper recliner retailer. She enjoys writing on all aspects of the freelance career, especially the negative ones.
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!

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