by Chantal Boudreau
Trying to write this, I find myself facing many of the diversions that usually distract me from my fiction writing, fantasy or otherwise. I thought I’d mention just the top three of many, to give you an idea of the kind of challenges I face, aside from the necessary time consumers like my day job. Just watch and see how quickly these very distractions will side-track me even with this.
1)The Internet – both a boon and a bane, it offers everything from social networking and cool shopping sites to easy-access games and readables. It also allows me easy access to publishers, other writers, potential readers, and permits me to share things like this with the multitudes. But…
If I had no other obligations I would likely spend 75 percent of my waking hours glued to the screen. Not healthy, I know. My latest discovery has been the Thinkgeek.com site that has far too many fabulous offerings to be ignored. I found it while Christmas shopping for my daughter, trying to locate something Amazon.com had but would not ship to Canada. Thinkgeek did. I went looking for one item today and then got sucked in by their winter sale items page. Hey, is that a Game of Thrones plush dragon egg…?
2)Family – Okay, more deserving of my attention in many ways than the Internet (unless we are talking research,) I’m not referring to the really important things like making sure your family is fed, sheltered , exercised, socialized and educated. I’m referring to the extra things, like being invited to play hours of video games with my daughter or having a request from my son to play tickle-fight for the umpteenth time that day. Granted, I do “use” my family as fodder for some of my writing and I owe them my time and gratitude, but there are instances when it gets to be too much, or I have a pressing deadline.
Then something comes along involving my family, something frivolous,that really catches my interest and does threaten to interfere with my writing goals. For example, my daughter got a game for Christmas called Story Wars that looks like it will be a lot of fun (from Thinkgeek – please refer to section #1). I can almost justify spending a lot of time playing it because it involves active, and interactive, story-telling skills. A useful exercise, maybe? Let me read over those rules again…
3)Bookstores – Most writers are avid readers, and I am too. I love books. I own more than I can fit on my shelf space, far more books than I could possibly read in the time I have available for reading, and I’m a fast read. I have made a point to avoid bookstores for this reason. If only it were so simple now.
Even if I disregard online bookstores (see section #1), I’ve fallen into the trap of having my workspace located seven floors above one. I can’t leave the elevators to exit the building without seeing it there, and if I have to go get lunch, no matter what else I have planned for my lunch hour, I end up there. It’s even harder to avoid now that they are carrying copies of Dead North, an anthology I’m in. I have to check in now and then to see how many copies are on the shelf and then I inevitably end up perusing the sale tables. What can I say; more than once I’ve scored close to $100.00 worth of books for less than $20.00. How can a book lover pass up that kind of opportunity?
And once I have those books, I can put off finishing that short story for a day or two so I can get some extra reading in, right?
These are only a sampling of the biggest of distractions, but there are so so so many more. Trying to stay focussed is not just a chore, sometimes it requires divine intervention – and I don’t seem to have much of that right now. Distracted I remain.
But I managed to get this post done, despite the latest smelly monkey by my side. I’m not talking about my son (refer to section #2) either. I’m talking about the gift my sister scent him (pun intended) for Christmas that wafts the odor of citrus my way every few seconds. I can’t seem to get away from it. My son thinks it’s awesome, like the new book she gave me (seriously… it’s The Book of Awesome.)
And I can’t help but pause and sniff. And contemplate reading that book. What was I saying?
Thanks, sis. *sigh*