Fighting distractions…

Curse you computer games and your gloriously addictive gameplay!

That felt better…. maybe just one more turn…

I’m sure I cant be the only one out there who finds one of the greatest challenges to writing anything is avoiding the myriad distractions that life puts in our way. Not just the normal ‘proper’ distractions – like work and children – but the vast array of alternate hobby related distractions out there. For myself these range from computer games, to painting and playing with my wargames collection, watching movies, or even just internet browsing. All of these demand my attention from the things I am ‘meant’ to be doing.

For example, I am presently about 100 pages away from completing the 1st major edit run of book 3 of the Fable series. However time is forever short, and as I do writing as a hobby and not a career (at least that’ll be the case until it starts offering to pay my mortgage), I find that these distractions often make a very tempting offer.

How do I fight these things off? How do I resist their ever tempting graphics, or the peculiar urge to play just one more turn? There isn’t one answer to that unfortunately. It comes down to mood,  but I find that I feel more inclined to write (and conversely to edit) when I feel inspired to do so. To clarify, I find that if I listen to a piece of music – be it sung or instrumental – it can get my mind working and my imagination takes over. I find that in listening to it, I can envisage it as part of a story and that gets the dominoes going. For example, just yesterday I was listening to Marilyn Mansons version of ‘This is Halloween’ from Nightmare before Christmas, and in so doing, the feel of the music, combined with a single line from the song, and a few wayward ideas Id had previously coalesced to create an entire plot for a new story. Sadly in this case nothing to do with the Fables series, but an entirely new story arc.

For the Fables series itself, I found that every so often I will be listening to the radio in the car, and a piece of music will come on which I find myself imagining playing as opening or closing credits. To clarify that a little, I used to watch a lot of anime when I was younger, and the classic 80s/early 90s cartoon series like Thundercats, all of which will often have very cool opening and closing credit sequences to music. Anime in particular tends to use pop music to open and close each episode. I found myself listening to Kelly Clarkeson’s ‘Stronger’ and immediately imagining it as part of an opening credits for an animated Herald’s Call. Odd, but it inspired me to fight past all the other hobby distractions and focus on writing.

I wonder how everyone else finds inspiration to keep going?

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