Author Tamela Hancock Murray

Immediate Distractions

Everyone loves being an author. Talented authors relish the process from the first twinkle of an idea to thinking about characters to plopping them into impossible situations. Or for the nonfiction author, the challenge of imparting knowledge that will help others is fulfilling. When I was writing books for publication, time dissolved as I typed away.

Despite my joy in writing, some afternoons dragged as I struggled with getting characters from Point A to Point B; or my plot didn’t work as well on paper as it did when I was musing about it earlier; or … fill in your struggle.


  • Search for recipes for dinner. Dinnertime will be here shortly!
  • Answer emails.
  • Research a thingie that may have something to do with your book.
  • Call a friend. You don’t want to lose touch!
  • Watch TV. Surely tuning in to the History Channel isn’t considered not working.
  • Drink coffee. Gotta stay awake!
  • In the act of total desperation, clean house.

Immediate distractions are part of life. I drink coffee myself. To be writers, the key is this: We MUST return to our work as soon as our little break has passed.

The beauty of immediate distractions is that they run their natural course. Even if you procrastinate in all seven ways above, losing all your writing time would be unlikely.

But then … so the coffee is gone and you answered all your emails. Still not feeling the love on that book? Next week I’ll discuss an even more dangerous impediment to your career – and what you can do about it.

Your turn:

How do you deal with immediate distractions?

Does procrastinating help you? How?

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