Monday, August 27, 2007


The enemy of every freelance writer is distraction. In an office setting you may have co-workers or funny emails taking time away from your productivity. You also have a boss cruising by your desk jarring you back to work.

In a work-from-home setting you have funny emails, TV, children, laundry, neighbors, the World Wide Web, your pets, the refrigerator, a sunny day and no boss. Besides the kids and hubby, my favorite distractions are CNN and Craisglist.Com.

Sure you can find legitimate writing gigs on Craigslist, but I often find myself wandering to the Free or Arts and Crafts section. I've even looked at farm equipment and I don't farm. The site is so damn interesting. People sell so many weird and intriguing items I often wonder how the sellers got the items in the first place.

Distractions are costly. Each hour you spend watching hilariously random videos on YouTube costs you, not the company, money. To stay focused, writers do some pretty strange things.

I developed office hours. I also try to lock myself in my office for the entire time I have set aside. I pretend that I'm in a fortress in which no sound can get in and getting out depends on completing my to-do list.

If I'm tired of the office, which happens often, I sit at the dining room table and pretend I'm invisible. I ignore the children and sit still as if they were T-Rexs, drawn to movement. I doesn't work but it allows me to keep my imagination going strong.

Distractions are a fact of life. What are your favorites? What do you do to keep focused?

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