Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Making good use of great distractions

I’m use to distractions. Being a writing mom, it comes with the territory. Normally my distractions come in the form of my adorable daughter, handsome husband, troublesome dog and nagging housework. This week something glorious has happened. I’ve been dreaming in book scenes. Perfect, beautiful book scenes. So, why is this a distraction? These scenes have nothing to do with my current WIP.

Ugh!! I know, right—HUGE DISTRACTION.

So, like a good author, after each dream I wake to say the following phrase, “I will not write this amazing new story….yet.” Then I proceed to grab the trustee pen and paper on my nightstand and jot down as many notes and things I can remember. Throughout the day I keep that pad with me and continue to keep notes on this new developing project but I will not start writing it until my current fiction project is complete.

I have a rule that I stand by. I will not write more than one fiction and one non-fiction project at a time. Working on those two simultaneously is fine but I will not take on more. For me, I like being able to switch back and forth between a fiction and a non-fiction project. As I’ve said before, it is the cure to all writer’s block.

So, this is how I’m handling my big writing distraction at the moment. And it is serving as a great sense of motivation for me to move along on my current project. I do love my current project but these dreams really make me excited to finish and dive into some new work. I was discussing this very topic over on the #WeWrite community this week with author Anna DeStefano and I love something that she said. I often agree with what she says, but in this case she said that dreaming about a new story is THE BEST place in a story’s journey. This is so true. So, until I’m able to get to work on this new and exciting project I’m going to enjoy this part of the journey. I’m going to enjoy and record the dreams.

Have any of you experienced this? How have you handled it? Please share in a comment.


My new website is up and running www.NatalieCMarkey.com I recently added some new speaking engagements and courses. I invite you to take a look around.

I will be hosting a live webinar on September 26 6:30-8 PDT with Farm Dogs USA titled ‘Caring for Special Needs Dogs.’ My lecture will be based off my book, ‘Caring for Your Special Needs Dog’ along with new research. Click here for more information.

I’m teaching a Write It Forward Workshop titled, ‘Writing Moms: How to do it all without losing your mind’ online in October. Click here for more information and to sign-up.

If you are a writing mom I encourage you to visit the #WriteMom community of Twitter. Share your joys, successes and stress with others writing moms. Learn more here.

Blog Spotlights:

By author Keli Gwyn ‘How to Get Your Blog Post on Google’s First Page’

By author Susan Bischoff ‘Respect for the Gifts’

By author and publisher Bob Mayer ‘The Changing Landscape of Publishing for Writers’

By author Joy E. Held ‘Getting Lost in Your Own Mind’


  1. This is a good reminder to stay focused on current projects but to allow yourself to get excited for future ones. I have dreamt about new characters and scenes, and characters have also popped into my head and said "Hello" at the most inconvenient times when I am awake. They like to talk away and I have to tell them to go away for a bit. If they don't listen, I jot down notes.
    Getting excited about work, even if it's not the current project is good. It really does motivate you to finish. :) Good to know that there is something to look forward to when current project is finished :)

  2. Yes, Sera- It is so easy to get distracted even when the distraction is a good one. We must stay focuses, avoid straying from our goals and stick with the bigger picture. Then you can have fun with the new project waiting for you at the finish line!

  3. Natalie, I think you've found one of the best tools for avoiding the pull of a new story. Jotting down the ideas as they come captures them. You're able to return to your WIP knowing the bright shiny new story will be ready to roll when you complete the current one.

    Thanks for the link to my post.

  4. Distractions.... such a part of everyday life until they stop and then that's distracting in itself. My two kids returned to their college+ lives after summer and the house has way too FEW distractions, distracting in itself. But I like the idea of switching between fiction and nonfiction -- I've been looking for a cure to my stagnating writing right now, and although I often switch between fiction and nonfiction, I've never done it as a conscious technique. Thanks for a great idea!