My turn! I don't know what I was thinking when I posted this latest question elsewhere. For shame! And just after the start of our lovely new blog.
Anyway, here's my question and answer:
Sometimes, I get distracted from writing by my favourite crit site. Or, rather, I'm not sure what to write and that site magically opens in my browser and I begin posting things all over the place.
But, on the other side of this coin, I often have Forward Motion for Writers website up when I'm writing. This might sound a bit weird, but I like to have it 'background' while I write. It's kinda like drawing support, like a comfort blanket, or holding someone's hand. Just having that little connection with a writing community somehow makes me feel more 'in the zone' for writing. Well, not always, but when FM is really, really, distracting me rather than helping I still keep it open, and that's kinda like when someone quits smoking, but keeps one packet as a trophy or will-test thing.
The trouble with writing, I find, is that I do it at my PC and the internet, generally, is a huge distraction. Great for doing research, but YouTube also distracts me. Mind you, again, there's a positive, because I like to make little music vids and post them on YouTube, and that's my alternative creative thing for when writing gets a bit too much. Making the vids is pure fun, I don't feel I have to make them good, there's no pressure from myself to raise the bar, so that's a healthy distraction if I'm not going to write anyway.
And then there's Kongregate - a gamers website where people develop and showcase free flash games. When I'm really in a funk with writing, that's the site that saps away frivolous hours. Very naughty, but I've been a bit of a gamer since the old Commodore 64 days and it's a nice way to either relax, wind down, or test the mental faculties.
The cat distracts me, too. Little blighter jumps onto the keyboard table and throws itself onto its back when it wants some fussing. I kinda like the cat, it's a cool little beastie, but the whole 'writhing around near/on the keyboard' thing gives me palpitations. Sometimes, I stop to fuss the cat, other times I shut it out of my office. At least you know with cats that you can behave as selfish as you like, because they'd do the same for you!
I have a friend who hates cats on the grounds that 'if you were suddenly six inches tall, your cat would eat you. You dog wouldn't, he'd still be loyal.' Heh, true. Probably why I prefer the cat.
I like to have music on, too. Either faves from my i-Tunes library, or the radio, just something to burble away while I'm typing, that helps, I think. Just animates the air a little, swings between moods which is amazingly non distractive. I've never found myself writing down a song lyric, or diverting a scene to reflect the mood of what I'm listening to. I don't usually hear the music at all, to be honest, but I like having it on so that when I come up for air there's something to bop to.
Food is distracting, too. This is a plus/minus thing as well. I'm a sukker for chocolate and goodies and an impromptu trip to the local post office often happens when I'm supposed to be writing. And then, again, if I get carried away it's not unusual for me to forsake food entirely and wind up snacking on toast just before I go to bed.
Sleep itself! Now that's distracting. I used to be one of these people who needed eight or nine solid hours per night. That seems to be dropping back and is more like six now, but I often forsake sleep to continue with a writing activity, especially if I'm reading back a whole novel after finishing or editing it. I can go right down to one hour of sleep, or none, sometimes.
Talking of which, the blummin' cat woke me up this morning: decided to batter the side of my bed at some ungodly hour. Ungodly, because I'm working this evening, won't get back until around midnight, so the cat's six am exuberance wasn't entirely welcome. I have a glut of time on my hands now which I hadn't anticipated! So, lots of writing time then... or maybe I'll just check to see how my YouTube vids are doing...