Perhaps I should sub title this post: distractions, distractions and more distractions. It’s officially just over two weeks since my last blog (why does this sound like an AA meeting?). I started this particular post two weeks ago, but it has taken until today to finish it. I have many excuses to myself for being late: It was my birthday; We went away; I started back at work; I have to train; It was my sons birthday; I did a 10km running race; It was Australia Day; I was tired. In case you haven’t noticed the theme: I am easily distracted (or the Queen of procrastination).
There's a famous movie line from the family animated movie 'Up' by Pixar, in which Dug the Dog is having a moment with the old man, and bam, he is distracted, squirrel. Most days I am like that. I'll be having a book moment; I'll have come up with a new story line or character development on a book I'm writing, and bam, squirrel. I might be on my iPhone researching something in particular, say for example, a town the character lives in, and next thing I know, I've gone completely off topic and I'm looking up holiday destinations! Or I'll be writing, a scene has just popped in my head. I frantically type, however, I need to make sure my facts are correct and look it up on line, squirrel, I'd better check my Facebook.
That would have to be one my biggest distractions by far, Facebook! I say that like an expletive. I've often contemplated deleting my account, but in our society that relies so heavily on social media to promote and sell, right now I can't afford to. My scenario goes like this: I'm inspired for a new story or a character idea has popped into my head. I open Safari and google, next thing I know, I get a Facebook notification. I open the Facebook app up on my phone, read the notifications, scroll through my news feed, read some 'interesting' articles, close it, put down the phone. Minutes later, pick up my phone again, open Facebook, do some stalking, read some comments, and close it again. This could go on for about 2 hours, oh doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun! This doesn't just happen when I'm writing either. Most times, I do this when I really don't want to do something, say for example, housework, or balance the accounts for end of month, or even write a two-week late book blog.
Have I just had a squirrel moment? Back to topic. Inspiration often comes to me late at night, when I’m in bed, getting ready to go to sleep. I have no idea why my mind is most creative at that time of night, but it’s almost always around 10.30pm. I’ll have turned off the light, and an idea will hit me. I write everything on my iPad, so I keep it beside my bed in case of emergency inspiration. It’s most inconvenient to write at that time of night, not because I’m distracting anyone, but because I’ll be writing and trying to keep my eyes open. My brain wants to keep writing, but my body has other ideas. Hence why there are always words missing from my text!
Inspiration might also come to me in dream. Like most people, I have some weird and wonderful dreams. In fact a major scene in Illuminated Darkness was pretty much a dream scene that I have written near word-to-word of what happened. Another example is an unfinished manuscript that I’ve been working on for the past few months is actually based on a dream I had. It was so real that I when I woke I was actually sad that I couldn’t continue it on (in fact I think I had stayed in bed that little bit extra that morning to replay the dream) then later that evening I started to write it on my iPad. But you know how it goes: idea, research, squirrel. Needless to say, it is only a quarter of the way done.
I’m so good at distractions that this blog in itself is a distraction for what I need to do. I have work in my home office that needs to be done and I have a two-month deadline for a new YA novel that I’ve been working on (not sure how I’m going to get that done). At least I’m not on Facebook! Hang on, I have to log on to post this blog. Hmmm, did anyone say squirrel?