Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Writer's Wednesday:: Coping With Distraction

This Wednesday at The Pink Heart Society author Anna Adams is here to talk to us about some of the distractions in her life...

Are You Distracted?

Distractions. Do you love them, or do they get in your way? I started writing when I had two children at home, and I was still their ride to school, music lessons, and a part-time job. Yes, my son lost his license almost as soon as he gained it, because he felt the need for speed. I wrote while I also had a full-time job, while I sold a house in one state and bought a house in another, and my husband, frantically busy with his own job, had already moved to the new state.

I made deadlines. On time.

Today, my husband has retired. My son lives in yet another state. My daughter is in college, but she’s home for the summer.

Hence, the distractions. My husband, who was hardly ever home during his working years is here twenty-four hours a day. My daughter, who hardly has time to breathe during the school year, wants to hang out.

I want to hang out with them. Well, I’m a little taken aback at a twenty-four-hour husband. I’m not used to that. But my daughter is building her own life, and she doesn’t ask for my time the way she once did. I feel her beautiful, wide-open future looming ahead of us. I’m glad for her, but let me be honest. I’m selfish. I’ve been her mom a long time, and I’m going to grab at any time she can share.

But this is a post about writing. Can you see the problem already? I’m distracted.

My June release, Her Reason to Stay, is my--I don’t actually know what number--release, but my first book came out over eight years ago. I hear other writers talk about what they do, and I’m impressed with their authority and their work ethic.

I’m also a little shaken. I’m distracted, and I don’t feel authoritative. I can’t imagine ever feeling I don’t have too much to learn. Plus, I’ve never had a system. My lack of a system has always worked before. I’ve found a way.

But I’m not whining about fear or ranting about change--or even distraction.

I love writing. I love writing romance. I relish the emotion we get to share in a story about one man and one woman who discover no one else will do for them. I met my husband in Iceland when he was a civilian assigned to the NATO base, and I was stationed there in the Navy. What are the odds?

Writing romance allows me to explore the amazing possibilities of finding true love. We live in a world where a man and a woman must choose to be together because modern life makes living apart a viable alternative. Life is riddled with distraction, and maybe that’s the key to living and to my writing.

I already love the reasons for my distraction. How do you manage? Do you embrace your distractions? Or do you have some magic secret for working around them?

To find out more about Anna and her books you can visit Her Website or Her Blog


  1. Anna! How wonderful to see you here. I can't wait to read Her Reason to Stay. I know I'll love it as I've loved your other books.

    And how great to see a pic of your 'distractions' I've heard so much about them.

    Ah yes, distractions - I'll join you in declarign thast I'm totally 'distracted' too. I have the hone husband too - maybe not 24/7 but near enough. And we both have a 'very' distracting Maine Coon companion. . .

    But I always remember the advice one editor gave a friend of mine just after her very first book was accepted. She said that we must never giv e up our lives because life was what brought a writer her inspiration.

    So when I hang out - with the Babe Magnet, the Offspring or even Flora the Floozie and Sid the Cat - I know that I'm not just relaxing - and distracted - I'm adding inspiratin to my life.



  2. Anna

    What a great post, it's so refreshing to find someone else who doesn't have a system. I don't and it panics me occassionally, everything seems to work out in the end (even if it means mucho revisions) but when I'm up to my neck in distractions and a mess of a manuscript I panic that maybe this time it won't work out... which is just one more distraction, frankly.

    And Kate, I loved your comment - you see the distraction of reading this blog has already inspired me!


  3. Kate!

    Thanks for the welcome and the kind words about my books. You know I'm one of your biggest fans! A new Kate Walker release day is a red letter day around our abode.

    And I'm so glad to be here, chatting about writing at the Pink Heart Society. You're right--the distractions are the part of my life I treasure most. I'm just having a hard time writing around them. Do you and the BM have separate offices?

    I just saw a documentary on David McCullough, who writes historical non-fiction, including John Adams (forgive me if the html doesn't work), and he showed his little writing house. That's what I need. A little writing house, where the router and the beloved and the kitty and the television can't reach! ;-)

    The family is inspiring, though. Where else would I have learned about the emotion I love to explore in my books?

  4. Heidi,

    First, congrats on your awesome Rita nomination for The Millionaire’s Blackmail Bargain,! That's gotta be a distraction-of-the-best-kind, too!

    I'm also really glad to hear about someone else who doesn't have a system--especially when it's working so well for you!

    I'm trying to soak up some of your calm attitude toward it, though. ;-)

    Nice to "meet" you!

  5. Oy, Anna is this hitting home. My daughter is out for the summer and she's past the age of needing me to do things for her but I'm the one who wants to chat with her. I'm not so great at handling distractions and I have to really isolate myself to write which is probably why I'm perpectually late because I put off the self-imposed solitary confinement. I need to work on that cause it cuts into Waffle House time with good buddies.;) BTW, LOVE the pics of the fam and you as a young'n.

  6. Jen,

    I was just reading your post about your girl's work ethic on, and I have to tell you, I was thinking I need to move in with you and work when she's working. She's amazing!

    I know what you mean about the Waffle House time I'm missing! (What if I just call from the Chez W. one morning and demand you join me?)

    Thanks for pics comment. I felt funny about adding them. ;-) Aren't my distractions lovely?

    Get that page count done, girlo. We have waffles to demolish! ;-)

  7. Anna

    I love that you have those distractions to keep you away from your writing. I think at times we become stronger writers and we desire it more when we don't have all the time in the world.

    I like to think that I'm one of those writers with a system, but I’m guessing my “system” would make others laugh. The only thing that really works for me is celebrating even the small stuff. When I embrace my 67 word count days and make them as important as my 3K days, it makes it fun for me. It reminds me that writing is a job I chose and something I can enjoy rather than something that I do because I have a deadline or because I've got some strange personal thing looming in the always present future.

    So I hope you enjoy your summer with your daughter and your 24 hour husband. They sound like wonderful distractions. And I hope you have many other fun distractions in the years to come.

  8. I found you all! And Jen, you are absolutely right about the self-imposed solitary confinement. I think of it as astral projection where the take off and landing are really rough. It's fine when you're roaming the ethosphere of the fictional world -- but the bumps back to reality -- self-doubt, confusion, general chaos make the distractions a blessing and a curse.

  9. Girlo, we are definitely due pork and sweet tea time if we could ever align our stars where one or the other of us wasn't in crunch time. You know, my Girl has raised her own if she'd just work on that laundry thing. LOL!

    Sus, I am so well-acquainted with the nasty trio of self-doubt, confusion and general mayhem.

  10. Hey Anna - popping in to say - HECK YA! I know about distractions. Day job, spouse, daughter, pets - I have them all. As you know, I do have a system, which often fails (sigh)
    Love the pics, tell S hi!

    Karen Whiddon

  11. Mary, I think you're right about becoming stronger when we are pushed--unless we run screaming. ;-)

    I'd love to hear about your system, and I'm taking what you said about celebrating any word count to heart because I often feel disappointed in my progress, even though I know it's counterproductive.

    I really am enjoying my summer with husband/daughter. Today, we bought scrubs for the daughter (she's just finished her third year of a BS in Nursing, and she's started her first hospital job), and then she and I saw Indiana Jones, and then we swam while the husband, who'd love to swim if he didn't have to get wet, filled up all our floaty stuff. It's been a nice day, even though I'm just now getting down to work!

    By the way, I notice you're from Fort Worth. We moved from there about 18 months ago. There are great writer's groups in the area!

    (I'm having problems with my Internet access so I'm sorry if this shows up twice.)

  12. Sus, thanks so much for dropping by! As usual, you've put your finger on the pulse. Self-doubt, confusion, general chaos--the biggest distractions of all--and I think they make me angst over the good ones!

    So nice to "see" you!

  13. Jen, I'm so up for the pork and tea break. Call when you're ready and I'll be there! LOL on your girl setting the bar. I couldn't live up to her! And my girl's air-dry laundry is draped over every surface upstairs. It'll stay till she wears it! But you know, I miss when her laundry's not hanging up there.

  14. Karen, I'm so happy to see you! We actually do share the same distractions--except you have more demanding pet-babies than mine. Give Kitty some food and a square of sunshine, and he's perky. Your babies want more and more and more from you!

    Can't wait to read the next Pack book--except I'll have to if you're working on the Cordasic empire right now! ;-)

    Thanks, everyone, for visiting. And thanks to the Pink Heart Society for making me feel so welcome! :-)

    All the best to everyone as we learn to love--and embrace--our distractions!

  15. I'm so glad to see that I'm not the only one without a 'system' for writing. Your story, Anna, gave me a lot of hope!

    As a new writer, I enjoy reading about other people's writing experiences. I have yet to learn how to avoid distractions - I am actually trying to suppress the urge to read a new book I just bought! Doesn't help my writing to be reading instead!