Distractions, With Some Writing In Between

Ahhh, the last week in November/beginning of December. This time last year, I was happily baking pretty much everything I could think of in an effort to share as much edible holiday cheer (read: butter) as possible.

This year, I’m writing this blog post whilst “taking a break” from writing. The “real” writing, that is. My grad school writing. Admittedly, I do love writing, which is convenient since I’m the idiot who signed up for grad school again. On the upside, I have 26 pages of which I am reasonably proud.

On the downside, 15 pages (for a different class) have yet to materialize. This is entirely my fault. My writing process goes like this:

  1. Get coffee or tea. Lots of it. Preferably a whole pot. 
  2. Take pot of caffeinated beverage down to desk and sit in chair.
  3. Decide that chair needs to be adjusted. Spend three minutes adjusting chair to perfect height and tilt for optimal intellectual activity.
  4. Realize I forgot a mug. Go back upstairs for a mug.
  5. Open up draft of paper. Read through paper. These usually have lines saying “Write something brilliant here!” and “You need to find proof of this, dolt.” I find that such self-cheerleading is very useful.
  6. Go to internet browser to look up academic articles.
  7. On the way to clicking the bookmark for the library’s journal database, somehow open up Facebook.
  8. Spend ten minutes reading through friends’ updates on Facebook.
  9. My coffee is cold. Need to go warm it up.
  10. Return to desk. Remember that I’m supposed to be doing research and writing.
  11. Go to draft of paper and write a paragraph. Realize that paragraph sucks and delete most of it – will keep the nicely phrased argument and figure out how to use it later.
  12. Go back to library website and find an article.
  13. Accidentally click on bookmark for my favorite cooking blog.
  14. Realize I’m very hungry, and after all, it’s lunchtime, and my brain needs healthy food to work properly.
  15. Go upstairs and cook something. Get distracted and make a whole bunch of things that I don’t have room in the fridge for!
  16. Return to desk with lunch. Write a few more paragraphs. Keep these and leave them for the editing process that will (possibly) take place at some indeterminate time in the future.
  17. Need to find another article to support my use of a particular term. Back to the interwebz! I mean…the library website.
  18. Nope. Got sucked into Tumblr. Waste another 30 minutes…

…and so on. You get the idea. I have the attention span of a hyperactive flea on days like this. My brain prefers to wait until 11:30 pm when I’m exhausted from sitting in front of a computer all damn day to come up with any good ideas. My brain has a rotten sense of humor.

In order to save me from myself, I have devised the following punishments for my distractions.

  • Every time I go to Facebook, I must do five push-ups.
  • Every time I go to a cooking blog, I must do lunges up and down all the stairs in my house.
  • Every time I see a picture of an adorable fluffy animal on any photo sharing website I must do five crunches.
  • Every time I go to a comedy blog, I must do a sets of 12 bicep curls.

I’m hoping that my dislike of push-ups, lunches, crunches, and curls will keep me from getting distracted on the internet while I write. Or at least, that if I can’t help getting distracted at least I’ll have some muscle tone to show for it! So far today, it’s working…except that I didn’t preemptively devise a punishment for coming to my OWN blog and writing inanities such as this! Mwahhaahah. I left a loophole. That was clever of me!

What’s your writing process? Your favorite distractions?

Love, peace, and productivity to my friends in school,
Sumiko

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