How many times have you read blogs that deal with – in one way or another – being a distracted writer?

It must be a rather big deal.

Speaking for myself, distractions come in every shape and size, varying from the weather to technology.

My home office is great; I have a tv cleverly positioned on one of those hospital racks high over my head so I can listen to satellite radio or the weather without those pesky colors catching my attention.

I have a huge desk housed with everything a writer could possibly need and my chair is so comfy that I just sink down into it.

All these elements should have set me up for this year’s NaNoWriMo competition so I could just breeze through it, wouldn’t you think?

But here’s the thing: distractions.

This is my first year competing in NaNoWriMo. I’ve prepared for it, told friends and family all about it, sat up that first night until midnight so I could proudly begin typing my words, and the first two days went like clockwork! I even banked extra words.

Thinking this was going to be a piece of proverbial cake, I wondered why I didn’t participate years ago!

That was before day three hit me.        

On day three, my sweet hubby bought me my very first smartphone. Uh-oh.

I took the time to program my new contacts list and gave the new number to a few key people to get me through the day. NaNo comes first!

Day three’s word count was not what it needed to be.

Yeah, the new toy was just staring at me on the corner of my desk … begging me to play with it. And a person has to take breaks, right?

Ok, you see where day three went.

Then day four, and I’m full-swing into my writing. But again, I had the distraction of being a compulsive editor and cut about 2,000 words from my NaNo project! Whoah!

I figured that was no biggie, I’d just make it up. Over the weekend.

And over the weekend, we had company and family stuff, so I didn’t even look at my computer for two days.

Ridiculously off schedule and still determined that I would finish NaNoWriMo this year, I had a long talk with myself. And I pulled up my word count chart, reorganized and reformatted what I would need each day. I knew I was going to be sad, but oh, boy. My required daily word count is sitting at 2,040 words a day (my goal is to complete the competition with 53,000 words).

Another distraction – I currently have a cold.

At this point, I’ve told myself to quit my whining and git‘er done already.

Simple distractions can easily turn that corner and become excuses – and we never want to allow excuses to then turn into a lifestyle. If we did that *shudder* we would no longer be writers, but wanna-bees.

Distractions will find a way to creep in from time to time. But no matter what form they come to us in, we need to decide how important they actually are in the entire scope of things.

Sometimes we really do have to tend to things right then and there - especially for those who still have children at home (you know who you are and I wish I could have been you years ago!). Our children, husbands, or pets may require immediate attention.

But our writing is something that we do for ourselves, and we deserve attention, as well. Can you seriously imagine living even one day without having that umbrella title of “writer” over your head? Kind of a sad place, isn’t it?

Distractions will find us from time to time; it is a fact of life. We just have to learn how to deal with them appropriately.

Robyn