Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Quickie:: Distraction

And now, ladies and gentleman, it is time once again for the third installment of:

The Quickie
(Monday morning style)

This is where I  post a QUICK WRITING TIP. A writing skill everyone should know. Whether it be technical or creative, useful or not, I'm gonna give it to you! You're gonna be singing the LL Cool J song, "Doin' It."

Okay, maybe not. Here's the Quickie for today:

FIND POSITIVE DISTRACTIONS!!!

Whether you are:
  • needing a break from a WIP
  • waiting on feedback from CP's
  • querying 
  • sending in a R&R
  • submitting to independent presses
  • on submission to editors
  • in the process of contract negotiations
  • waiting for your cover to be finalized
  • desperate for your publication date to come
  • hanging on for first reviews to come
  • etc.
Almost every stage of this writing game takes an inhuman amount of PATIENCE! At some point we will all have to master this incredibly important virtue/skill (Daniel-son-style--to be read with a Karate Kid accent).

My favorite way to find my Zen-filled patience zone is simple: Distraction (and lots of it). Here are some of my favorite distractions:
  • Exercise--it releases endorphins in my brain and helps me feel better about myself. It helps remind me that even though I am not always in control of what happens to my manuscript, I am in control of my own body. I can focus on becoming physically stronger, healthier, and more active with my family. I go on several bike rides a week with my kids.
  • Baths--I fill my big ol' tub up with lavender-scented Epsom salts and read for hours. I am transported to a place where the only concerns I have are for the characters in the stories.
  • Netflix--there are so many good series on Netflix. I have to be careful with this one because it can be incredibly addicting, but I've really gotten into VAMPIRE DIARIES, DOWNTON ABBEY, and WALKING DEAD. And honestly, because these stories are so well told, I totally consider it research. :)
  • Writing--after all, isn't this the basis of why we are even on this publication journey? Because we love to write. We enjoy flexing our creative muscles. We live for those moments of inspiration when a character comes alive for us.
  • Family time--whether it be date night with Mr. Humphries, taking one of my girls shopping, or sitting down at the dinner table to catch up, all of this is supremely helpful in taking my mind off of the waiting game. 
What are some of your favorite distractions?  And do you love LL Cool J as much as I do?

20 comments:

  1. Losing myself in a great book is my favorite distraction! I also love coloring and drawing. Reading and art are perfect distractions. Writing something new is a good one, too!

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  2. Yes, I'm smack in the middle of one of those items listed. Good advice to master PATIENCE.

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  3. That's a great list, Jessie. I use everyone of those too and in addition to investing in other creative endeavors-- baking, my music, creating-- something that feeds my heart and soul and isn't writing, necessarily.

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  4. Patience is a word I absolutely hate and everybody tells me I need to have. LOL ;-) And what a great list, Jessie...Netflix inspires me too and books!

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  5. haha! Lately for me it's been Korean Dramas. I find myself completely relaxing when I watch one. Plus it's fun to chat with my #kdrama girls on twitter. Maybe this is becoming more than a distraction... but I freaking LOVE it :)

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  6. Heathy distractions? Guess I need to get rid of the chocolate doughnuts.

    When I need to get away for a bit I buy a new book. One I've been really looking forward to. That tends to calm me down and helps me regain a sense of equilibrium. Usually.

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  7. Love all your distractions. Need to do the exercising more and take the time for hot baths.

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  8. I watched an interview with LL Cool J yesterday on OWN. Still love him. Thanks for the quickie. Wait, that sounds kind of...well thanks.

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  9. Those are great distractions. I too am hooked on Vampire Diaries, Walking Dead and Downton Abby.

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  10. Will you add roller coasters to the list? If I wasn't pregnant that would be my distraction of choice. You can't check your email on the Hulk at Universal...well you can, but you will probably lose your phone.

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  11. I totally thought LL Cool J was naked, covered only by his hand placement, and I had to quickly avert my eyes! Then I realized there are shorts there....

    My brain is a sieve. So when I need to not hyper-focus on something, I just let it drop through the sieve, along with the dishes and my reason for not drinking Diet Coke anymore. If it's no longer in my brain, I don't have to worry about it, leaving me free to stress about my to-do list. ;) Yes, my life is an exciting one indeed. Clearly I should add your distractions to my to-do list. They are WAY better than the things on mine!

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  12. Great post! It's easy to beat ourselves up over distractions taking time away from writing, and it's a very good idea to find constructive ones to help us keep focus. Still working on the exercising... although I don't really want to look like LL Cool J. :)

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  13. Love LL Cool J :D

    I'm a big fan of exercise. It's something I do just about every day and it is truly the best distraction ever!

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  15. I could definitely distract myself with him...as he licks his lips rapping!! Exercise rocks!

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  16. Great advice, Jessie. I wish I had a bigger bathtub. I love to soak away my worries. Aloha! ;)

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  17. Great advice, Jessie. I wish I had a bigger bathtub. I love to soak away my worries. Aloha! ;)

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  18. I use all of the above to help me with being patient. Netflix is super addicting for me though and I think I might need to join a support group. I watch way too many episodes in a row and get a little obsessed.

    Peggy-I thought the same thing. LL Cool J in the buff. Haha.

    (Oh, and I like your title.) ;0)

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  19. I've been waiting for first round edits from my publisher's editor for 8 months. So I wrote a sequel and signed a contract for it in the meantime. Still waiting...

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  20. Great tips and WOW! I didn't know how much I liked Mr. LL until now... :)

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