Saturday, February 5, 2011

The benefits of being a distracted writer

When you're writing, do you become obsessed? Like, you're distracted by your story as time races forward? Non-writers might not appreciate the benefits of being a distracted writer. Do we have job security? Nope. Thousands of devoted fans? Um, no. Financial reward? Huh?

I'm a glass-half-full kind of gal, and I'd like to share with you some hidden benefits of being a distracted writer:
  1. Dust bunnies are no longer evil critters who must be exterminated with the vacuum. They become cute little fellas who keep us company while we're in la la land.
  2. Weird Google searches are acceptable. If the FBI confiscates our computers, we have a viable explanation for the weirdness. It's okay to search for molotov cocktail ingredients, or the best way to torture a character. We're not crazy or dangerous, we're just quirky writers.
  3. Staring into space is considered work. In what other profession can you actually improve while you're daydreaming?
  4. Watching movies and reading books is considered research. We learn about plot structure and cliffhangers from entertainment. How awesome is that?
  5. Our children learn how to cook at an early age. It's that whole independence thing we're teaching them. As long as we're within reach of a fire extinguisher, we shouldn't feel guilty, right?
Okay distracted writers, it's time to dish. Which benefit is your favorite, or can you add one to the list?

If this post doesn't make sense it's because I'm distracted :D


44 comments:

  1. Watching movies is research! I agree.

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  2. If only I could funnel my writing distraction into house cleaning! Those dust bunnies are taking over.

    It really is true that movies inspire my writing. Thanks for the excuse!

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  3. Weird Google searches, definitely. I love researching, and I've got some doozies in my browser history. :)

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  4. LOL I love this, gives all of my weirdness purpose:) I ask people strange questions sometimes in the name of research. . . though, they don't really know that and probably think I'm crazy!

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  5. Awesome! I agree with them all - my favourite is creating strong and independent kids who can cook on their own!! :)

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  6. LOL! I love it. I'm guilty of all of the above. I also get to blame all my scatterbrained-ness on being a writer. My thoughts are half in the real world, and half in the fiction world. And one day, I'm just sure my kids will think I'm cool. My 6yo checks his lunchbox every day before school--inspecting my job cuz he knows how forgetful I am! lol

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  7. You just validated my Christmas tree not making it down until late January. Thank you, Julie.

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  8. LOL, I especially like #3. I laughed out loud. Yeah! I get to stare out into space and it's not because I'm losing all my marbles. Or if it is, I can ignore it.

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  9. This is so funny! And dead on! I laughed while reading because this is SO ME! I am a horrible housekeeper because to me, laundry, dishes, and vacuuming are nothing but distractions from my true calling in life - to write. In fact, EVERYTHING is a distraction to writing. Even sleeping!

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  10. I love Google searches too. Oh, and staring into space ... :)

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  11. Oh this is so true! I always say I'm doing research when I watch movies so I can see the conflict and goaks. Husband really believes me:)) LOL

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  12. HA! Dust bunnies as fluffy little companions. That's what I'll tell myself when I see one float across our hardwood floors!

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  13. Weird Google searches, for sure. And poring over the thesaurus to find the right words, but also enjoying reading lists of interjections and things. So fun. And everything else on your list. It's all fodder for the mill.

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  14. Yeah, Julie, it's truly amazing what becomes interesting when trying NOT to focus on what it is you 'should' be focused on...I do my best cleaning at those time!

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  15. I've been distracted too Julie! We should compare notes...I blogged about it too!

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  16. Haha, great list. Yes, sometimes I wonder about all the odd stuff I Google... And I love that movies and books are research. Right on!

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  17. Well spending time with husband and talking to him is research for tension/character depths/and character growth!

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  18. Wow! Julie. Thanks for explaining everything that I have been doing and feeling for the past twenty years! Lol! Very interesting. Thanks for posting.

    -Jimmy

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  19. I'm so glad you've created this list, Julie! It gives all the distractions legitimacy. I do have another one to add -- travel. If your story is set in the Himalayas, it's helpful to go there for versimilitude. It might not qualify for the list, but maybe it could be a footnote...

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  20. 2, 3 and 5 had me nodding and laughing

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  21. *grinning broadly* This was GREAT! I now have an excuse for all the things I do! Thanks!!!!

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  22. I agree in particular with 3 and 4. In addition, I can do #3 while lying on the couch, and #4 includes reading book reviews as competitive research. Love it!

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  23. Haha! Dustbunnies are my friends.

    Don't forget laundry - My kids know if they want clean clothes, they have to wash them!

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  24. Seriously, sometimes the phrases I google, I hope no one important it keeping track b/c they can be misconstrued. Really. It's research for a novel and my villain!

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  25. teehee--great list! All of these are true. You also don't have to pay attention to the nagging of your family if you are totally lost in your MS.

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  26. ROTFL! Oh my goodness that made me laugh so hard! Thank you, what a great way to start my week. I'd throw traveling to exciting places for research in the mix. That is one of my favorite things to do.

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  27. LMAO!!! GREAT post!
    And yanno? My hubby's always jealous when I'm watching TV and I say, "I'm working. Shh."

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  28. Love this post! Great list because it is so true.

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  29. omg, Julie! If anything, I'm so RELIEVED that I'm not alone in this distraction... and negligence! :D

    Thanks~ <3

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  30. reading books and watching movies (and occasionally days of our lives) ;-)

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  31. Just found your great blog. I'd say, getting up to write on a piece of toilet paper or old receipt on your husband's side of the bathroom counter at 2 a.m, makes you a writer.

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  32. My husband's giving me weird looks because I'm laughing so hard. I can't believe how true it all is.

    According to my 11 yo, he can tell when I'm thinking about my book. I have a "look." ;)

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  33. What I love about being a writer - it seems to rub off on my kids. They love to read a write a TON! I see "the look" (like Stina mentioned) on their faces too. ;)

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  34. Hmmm, just wish my husband saw all these as benefits too...

    ;-)

    Fellow Crusader saying hi!

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  35. I agree with reading books is research and staring into space is just plain thinking or trying to brainstorm.

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  36. I agree with the weird Google searches (methods of torture... check), staring into space, and watching movies and books. Especially the starting into space - I do that a lot!

    And nice to "meet" you too, fellow crusader :-)

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  37. LOL. Such a great list. I'm waiting for the FBI to knock down my door any day...

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  38. Hey, I'm a glass-half full type of girl too and a distracted writer. It's nice to have an excuse for spacey behavior sometimes;).

    Maribeth.

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  39. I love this list! And I am guilty of every one! Lol! I'm thinking about hanging this up so the family will understand it's just part of the process and "See! See! I'm not the only one!" *points to awesome list as the dust bunnies curl up at my feet and husband questions sanity*
    I'm a crusader. Loving the blog:)

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