Brilliance from writer A.L. Kennedy on the Secret Joy of Distraction which pretty much sums up my current state of mind:

. . . It may be that we now know how we staggered to the end of the previous books
– but that doesn’t mean we’ll have a clue whether we’ll navigate this one to its
close or simply expire half-way across its nasty patio, still within sight of
its cheap front door.

HEXBOUND, in all its ghosty/vampirey/magical glory, is my current “nasty patio.” (That sounds so much less banal than saying it’s my current “albatross.”)

And Kennedy continues to discuss the role of distraction:

The main thing that stops you writing when all you technically have to do is
write is the apparently gentle stream of minute, but utterly interrupting
interruptions. Slowly all your available pockets do fill with tasks you must
perform that are not proper writing. Some of them are lovely and yet all of them
are in the way.

Admittedly, my distractions are taken on by choice. There is little in my non-working life that requires OH MY GOD, MY IMMEDIATE ATTENTION. But that doesn’t mean that every new Serious Eats entry or Gizmodo rumor about my future birthday present or fabulousness served up by Ms. Anne or Design*Sponge doesn’t seem, in the moment, that much more interesting than whatever I’m supposed to be working on. I mean, there are crafts to be done. And Tweetsto be Tweeted. And recipes to be mulled-over and, if I have the ingredients, undertaken.

Of course, there’s still the larger point:

I can remember that I really have always relied on the kindness of strangers. If
they don’t read me, all this stops. And since it hasn’t stopped yet, I can also
fall on back on the old, old ruse of using more writing to make too much writing
feel like Calvinist fun. So, running alongside the novel, I’m encouraging a
little radio drama – and when I’m doing one, I can pretend I should be doing the
other and vice versa. It’s not ideal, but it’s very much better than nothing.

Yes, dear readers–I see the Tweets and reviews and e-mails. And everytime you note that you got a laugh or had a few, delicate minutes away from life’s brambles while enjoying Lily’s adventures, the words come a little bit easier.


(Linkage via Pimp My Novel)

2 thoughts on “YES!

  • Chloe even the best of us get distracted by all the wonderful everyday fun of life on the Internet, the cooking and baking, the little phone calls and any and everything good bad and in between that we can think of to not do what is "WORK"! Work be it at home or the office is not "fun" for most people and even when it is fun it is still not what most of us want to do for very long. Fans and I am one love to hear about your work in progress, we love to hear that things are going well and we are truly here for you to cheer you on when they are not as much as you can allow us to!
    Thanks for being an author who is not afraid to share the good and the bad within your process, we out here in blogger and twitter land are happy to help and also happy that you even think we do in some small way encourage you.

    jackie b central texas

  • I agree with Jackie and hope that you can cut yourself some slack. We all get distracted by the internet and cooking and chatting (I myself succumb to, xkcd and gofugyourself way too often and have a batch of muffins waiting to be baked currently calling my name). But I often find that the little distractions are just the thing I need to relax my mind, find my centre and return to the business at hand refreshed. None of us can work on a project of such a magnitude full stop all the time. You wouldn't be human if you could; your worthy of getting a little distracted.

    Your books and your characters bring joy to my friends and I. We cherish their quips, quirks, laughter, wisdom and insight. Just on Thursday I ran in to a friend who finally was able to read Firespell and wanted to tell me how much she had loved it. Thank you for your work. But please know that while we appreciate all you do, we also appreciate that writing is a laborious process and that sometimes you need a break or a distraction from it.

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