Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Big Distraction

During Nano I always have this incredible focus.  I'm not sure what, exactly, about that month that allows me to just lose myself in my writing.  I've theorized in the past that it's the competition.  Anyone who knows me is aware of just how much that drives me through the month.  Watching my word count rise, and comparing it to that of the counts around me.  I find that incredibly motivating.

I've also wondered if it's just because there are so many people around doing the same thing as me.  Having the ability to go on the chat and know that every person there is struggling to get out the words they need to meet those goals is highly motivating.  It tells me that I'm not alone.  That we're in it together.

Whatever it is, though, it's certainly not present right now.

I've challenged myself to do NaNoEdMo.  Basically I have to edit for 50 hours this month. I haven't done too bad so far.  I've actually finished the book I was editing, and I've moved on to another project.  This one is getting completely rewritten, and it requires a lot of planning on my part so that I don't end up with the same issues that I had with it in the first place.

I'm counting it all as editing, because this isn't a first draft.  Well, technically it is.  There was so much wrong with that original draft, I can't even really call it an outline at this point.  But, to me, all of those hours that I put into that original draft weren't wasted.  It helped me to get to the point with my writing where I feel like I have the ability to write the story that it originally deserved to be, so I'm counting it as a rewrite and therefore editing.

I'm also going to count it as writing next month, but that's completely besides the point.

The point is that I've edited for seventeen and a half hours so far this month.  I'm supposed to be at twenty-two hours.

Why am I behind?  That's simple: distraction.  I'm not blaming the distractions themselves.  Is it Deception's fault that when I watched the first episode I couldn't stop watching it until I finished?  No!  Is it my friends fault that I would rather hang out in my email and wait to see what they say next rather than opening my scrivener project and getting to work?  No!  Is it my cat's fault that I walked away from my computer to go cuddle with her for twenty minutes so she would stop meowing outside my door?  Okay...that one might be on the cat.  But she didn't know that she was distracting me!

I can't concentrate.  I don't know why.  I tell myself that I'll do something, and then I just don't.  I need to figure out how to capture the feeling of NaNo in a bottle so that I can take a swig anytime I need a kick in the butt.

Until then, though, I suppose I'll just have to rely on twitter and my friends there to keep me going.  I need to have, at the very least, the planning for this book done before next month.  No more procrastinating.  No more telling myself that I can catch up on my next day off.  I need to focus.

Now to just tell my motivation that.

How do you keep your motivation in check?  Do you ever find your attention wandering, even when you really want to be working?


  1. You know, a lot of my problems with motivation are not having deadlines. When I set a deadline (a reasonable one) I seem to accomplish more. Even if it's a 250 words in a 10 minute sprint. But that doesn't seem to be your problem.

    Another thing that helps me is having a writing partner. My college roommate and fellow writer, S.M. Robertson is always there to crack the whip and write with me. Her bugging me gets my butt into gear. My bugging her does the same. We seem to guilt each other into getting our work done.

    Good luck with your editing, though! I hope it goes better for you the rest of the month.

    1. A writing partner would be great. I should check on twitter to see if there's anyone there (who isn't one of my friends here) whose willing. Thanks ^^