Ways to Avoid Distraction While On Deadline

1. Turn off the internet connection and/or send router or box to work with partner or friend.

Caveat: Neighbor may have non-passworded wireless.

2. Go to park.

Caveat: Need clement weather and a blanket or place to sit.

Caveat: If blanket only, need young body that will not get immediately sore and aching.

Bonus: If you have a young, non-aching body, enjoy it while you can. It won’t last.

3. Go to public library.

Caveat: Some public libraries run by information-must-be-free radicals may offer free wireless. Be strong.

Bonus: It is required to turn off cell phones, so adolescent and college age children cannot call with incessant questions that are, to their hormone addled minds, emergencies.

4. Go to coffee shop.

Bonus: Companies like Starbucks often offer only paid wireless, easy to scorn if you are cheap (as I am).

Bonus: People will think you are a poser, pretending to write to get artist-poseur-points, so will avoid you.

Bonus: Go often enough to the same place, and the manager will greet you with a hug while the counter staff will have your favorite drink waiting before you reach the counter, and will hide chocolate chip cookies for you in the hidden cupboard if the supplies start running low before you get there.

5. Book a long plane flight and take as carry on only your laptop and/or a hard copy of the manuscript for revision.

Bonus: If the movie being shown is not of interest, and/or you are too cheap to pay the access/headset fee, you are safe.

Bonus: A long layover between connecting flights==>more time with nothing else to do.

Caveat: Expensive. And – really – plane travel these days.

6. Be smarter about how you write and how you utilize your non-emergency writing time so you don’t run into this idiotic situation again.

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There are 7 comments. Get the RSS feed for comments on this entry.

  1. 1. Tricia Sullivan

    That number 6 is the killer. All of the others sound perfectly reasonable.

  2. 2. Merrilee Faber

    I may have to try some of those…

  3. 3. Diana Pharaoh Francis

    #2 made me snort drink. Bad bad you. And sooooooo right.

  4. 4. Madeleine Robins

    #4 explains how I have managed to write as many books as I have; at my old Starbucks in NYC they had my grande drip with room ready when I walked in the door, and demanded a copy of the book I was writing when it came out….

    #2: too much nature. Distracting.

    #3: too many toddlers running around on way to Kids’ Section. OTOH, the no-cell rule is bliss.

    You are (as always) my hero.

  5. 5. Jenn

    #4 — if your Internet provider is AT&T, you have free wireless access at Starbucks!

    (Wait…..you probably didn’t need to know that….)

    Otherwise, excellent list!

  6. 6. NJS

    #2-4: good people watching can be distracting

    avoiding wireless internet: turn off wireless card on your computer so it won’t pick up any networks. It’s easy to reverse, but makes internet not immediately accessible.

  7. 7. Willis

    Distractions!! Those are my biggest thing. I always have some game or something on my computer distracting me from writing.

    These are all good ideas. I personally find coffee shops not so fun a place to go for writing, but that may be because I don’t drink coffee.

    A library may be my best bet.

    Thanks for the list!

Author Information

Kate Elliott

Kate Elliott is the author of multiple fantasy and science fiction novels, including the Crown of Stars series and the Novels of the Jaran. She's currently working on Crossroads; the first novel, Spirit Gate, is already out, and Shadow Gate will be published in Spring 2008. Visit site.

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