The Distraction Myth


There’s a few myths out there about creative writing and a particularly prevalent one is the myth about writing distractions.

Here’s how it usually goes:

Distractions are bad. Distractions cause you to lose focus. You need absolute focus with no distractions at all so that you get on with it. You need to be 100% motivated and 100% focussed on writing all the time to succeed. It is like a sport that you train for.

The Truth

A painting of Prometheus chained to a rock for...

A painting of Prometheus chained to a rock for haven stolen fire from the gods and delivering it to humankind. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These two myths subscribe to the view that distractions are stopping you writing. This is a lie. Distractions are often necessary for the brain. It is a multi-disciplined organ and focussing on one particular thing all the time without any distractions for entertainment or fun is a quick way to bore yourself silly. Entertainment has its purpose too and may unconsciously often inspire, refresh or challenge your mind.

A distraction from chores

A distraction from chores (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Writing, on the whole, seems to work differently for different people but for many it needs to come of its own accord. It is something that has never been fully explained, why people want to write or often need to write. Trying to turn this into another concept often doesn’t work. Writing because you want to write, when you want to write is a very freeing process and ensures that you continue to love what you do. So forget about altering your behaviours in order to write more, forget about goal-orientated writing and just write what comes into your head and your heart. If you don’t attach these extra pressures to your writing you will be far happier for it.

Creative writing is not a sport or a discipline, it is something you want to do that often transcends normal definitions of judgement. That’s what makes writing an art. Don’t let a rushed or stressed period in your life rush your writing. Keep the relationship between you and your writing a limitless one.

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2 thoughts on “The Distraction Myth

  1. Every myth has a fact as source.
    Maybe that fact is: most distractions today are bad and won’t help you write, unlike reading, playing an instrument or taking a walk.

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