Donna Everhart


The other day I was in the shower and squirted a gob of conditioner in my hand – then proceeded to wash under my arms.   I had been thinking about what I was going to write, what I would focus on, and, obviously I wasn’t in the present moment.  At least I didn’t grab up a tube of something other than toothpaste and try to brush my teeth.

To say I’ve been distracted lately doesn’t come close to describing the day to day desire to write and what gets in the way of accomplishing that.  These distractions aren’t major events, but despite knowing that, they still seem to suck time right off the clock like it never existed.  Even going off Daylight Savings Time didn’t help with the extra hour on Sunday.   What with the news about Sandy on TV, robo-calls about the election,  the election coverage, the worrying about the election, making sure I’m keeping up with friends and family, (and I do a pretty poor job of that), along with all of the usual daily “stuff,” around our house, I am finding it hard most days to focus enough time on writing.

The thing is…, nothing has really changed.  And by that I mean,  there’s nothing out of the day to day ordinary routine to prevent me from doing it, but each and every day – in some way, shape or form, I feel like I’m stopped somehow from meeting my daily writing goal.

Today would be a perfect example.   My goal was to run, shower, check email and then, settle down and write.   I’m a bit frustrated because I’ve begun book number three –  three different times.  I’ve got pieces and parts of the story beginning scattered over 45 pages and each time I read it, I recognize there’s very little of it that can be glued together without major overhaul to other parts, or vice versa.   I’ve got to fix it before I can move the story along.   So, I ran like I promised myself.  And then, I hopped into the shower.  This time I didn’t try to wash with the conditioner – a good sign!  But,  I heard loud bumping – in the laundry room.    Did a squirrel get in…, again?

Nope.  My hubby sticks his head in the bathroom door a few seconds later, and announces, ‘I’m back…, with the “home wreckers!’

Oh yeah.  That’s right.  He said he might have his guys come and paint the master bathroom we are in the process of renovating.  (NOT the one I was in…btw)  No problem, right?   WRONG.  Part of getting that done = sanding sheetrock.  Anybody out there ever been around when sheetrock is being sanded?  Anybody ever try to contain the dust cloud that descends over your entire house from it?  No?   I’ll explain.

Picture taking a big container of talcum powder in your hand.   And then, walk around – oh shoot, why not skip merrily?  Shake that thing all over the place, come on!  Shake it, hard!  Make sure you’ve got a nice coating of dust EVERYWHERE!  Look!  You can even drag your fingers over every stinking piece of furniture and make pictures!  Look!  You can walk through it and track it EVERYWHERE!

Alright, that’s a bit of an exaggeration.  The bathroom remodel had to be done and as we tackle each project, I’ve come to learn no matter how bad it gets, or looks when being done, I CAN get it cleaned up.  But somehow I feel like it’s just one more day with a distraction, like someone snapped their fingers and <poof!>,  the opportunity to put words to paper is gone.

Well, I can satisfy some of the writing goals for today by thinking about how to straighten out that hot mess of a beginning while I’m vacuuming and mopping up sheetrock dust.

What keeps you from achieving your goals with writing?

2 thoughts on “Distractions”

  1. Me…I think I’m the only thing that keeps me from writing. Over the summer I thought it was having my kids underfoot 24/7, painting our house, and my husband finishing school. But now, my kids have been handling their own work well and have few extracurriculars currently, house done, husband graduated. I even have a student teacher, so she is doing all of the major class work. Leads me to believe I am always the reason I am not writing.

  2. I know what you mean…funny how Betsy blogged about this today…it seems to be on everyone’s mind. Like you, I had more to do a year ago with a full time job, finishing my degree, etc but I wrote more then. Have you ever set a daily quota? I did that with the 2nd book – it worked out well. I set a minimum of 1,000 words per day (about 4 pages, give or take) and if I got more = bonus. I’m going to do that again I think. I wouldn’t allow myself to even open email or get on the internet until I had that quota done!

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