Monday, 4 August 2014

Writing Through Distractions

As a writer, it’s hard to find time to sit and write when so many distractions come at you. Have you ever intended to sit and write in the morning, and then you look at the clock and it’s after 5 p.m. and all you’ve accomplished is taking a shower and cleaning out your dryer lint? 
Welcome to my life. Recently I’ve had the universe tossing a lot in my direction. In the past two months I’ve had: my dad in and out of the hospital , my husband taking an unexpected early retirement and job hunting,  another family member hospitalized, and oh yeah, my first book, True Colors, was released. Even my appliances betrayed me and my fridge and A/C died as my laptop began to fall into a “semi-coma.”
True Colors
So to say I was distracted is a bit of an understatement, but, as all writers know, if you take a break from writing, it’s so much harder to get back into it. Here are some of the things I did to keep writing. I hope these tips help keep you in the flow even on the most hectic days.

1.Always keep a notebook handy. I carry one in my purse to jot down notes, dialogue, and ideas. Inspiration hits in the strangest places and you never know when you might come up with something. Plus, if you’re anything like me, then you'd better write it down if you want to remember it.
2. Always be aware. The I.C.U. had weird visiting hours, so when I had downtime, I passed by a restaurant that looked perfect for a scene I had been working on. I went in and jotted down details and even took a picture. 
    3.Take opportunities as they come. When they took my dad for testing, I used that opportunity to talk to a nurse about his experiences. He gave me great details for a character sketch I would have never gotten on my own.
     4. Use car rides as a time to write. On the ride to the hospital, I was anxious and worried. I took out my journal and jotted down fears and worries, but instead of writing them out as my feelings, I wrote them as if I were writing about a character. It took me out of the problems and made me more of a spectator, which calmed me down.

We all go through times when finding a moment to write feels impossible, but we can still something to get words and ideas down on paper. Writing can be therapeutic and can even help you escape for a bit.

By Krysten Lindsay Hager

Krysten Lindsay Hager is an author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and also writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. TRUE COLORS is her debut YA novel from Astraea Press. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and currently resides in Dayton, Ohio where you can find her reading and writing. She received her master’s in American Culture from the University of Michigan-Flint.


  1. You made the most of tough situations, Krysten. Very admirable. I've been going through rough times with family members, too, in the middle of my release. We writers have to deal with life and writing, and as you've shown, they are definitely not separate worlds! Thanks for your post.

  2. That is so true, Linda, they are not separate worlds. This was a bit of a vulnerable piece for me to write, but I thought maybe it might help someone else going through the same thing. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. Thanks for the tips. I hate it when an idea comes to you just as you're falling asleep.. So annoying.

  4. Oh yes, I always get ideas as I'm about to drift off and never remember them in the morning! Thanks for dropping by.

  5. Thanks for the great ideas.

    Distractions are always there, but we can always work on something while we wait for the calm.

  6. Very true, Audrey. Thanks for commenting :)