Sixteen magazines within direct sight of my computer. Six books. Three on screenwriting. Two helmets, one snowboard, one longboard. Sitting here I can read articles on the web, listen to approximately 30,000 songs, watch TV and play at least thirty casual games, including four different varieties of irrationally irritated birds. I can look up anything that pops into my head within ten seconds. In fact, I just did. Did you know that Ben Franklin was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 1999? I do. (What took them so long?)
Outside of my office, there are dirty dishes, dirty laundry, Tivo, more music options, people whom I love and love me, varieties of snacks, meals, drinks. I could go on and on. The distractions are endless, readily available and very enticing. About the only thing that doesn't serve as a distraction is the thrice-weekly scheduled workouts that never seem to happen.
I keep checking e-mail, even though I haven't gotten an urgent e-mail in well, ever. (Who would send an urgent e-mail, anyway? "Your house is on fire, better get out of there. Best, Jeff. Sent from my iPad.") Yet, somehow, I deem it important enough to cease my actual work every time Orbitz posts a good deal.
Oh, and blogging, did I mention blogging? Very distracting.
How in the world do writers ever overcome the distractions?
I've decided to make it a point of concentration. Ignore the distractions. Let the e-mails build. Don't worry about the MLB trade deadline, they don't need me. Read a few articles while eating breakfast. Check e-mail at lunch. Browse the web after 5. Eliminate everything in between except the writing. This should definitely work.
I'll start right after I grab a quick snack.
What are your tricks for avoiding distraction? Do you turn of your web access? Work only in the dark? Post a comment and let me know. I need the distraction.