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On My Mind...Avoiding Distractions

To write, you need to focus. You can write anywhere - in a coffee shop, at your dining room table, on the train - but you need to concentrate on the words you’re putting on the screen or the page not on the world around you. You need - -

 Question: What colour does a Smurf turn if you choke it?

- - - to shut your mind to distractions. To immerse yourself in the world you are creating on the page. You must listen to your characters. Discover their rhythms. Their flaws. Their - -

 Question: Why is the letter called ‘double u’ when its two ‘v’s joined together?

 - - motivations. Every character is unique because so is every writer. We all crave different surroundings. Some write best while listening to music. Many require silence. Others write while surrounded by people, while a number crave solitude. But all writers - - -

 Question: Why do we press harder on the tv remote when the batteries are dead?

 - - - must develop discipline. You must be able to ignore the distractions of the work-a-day world - -

 Question: Why are homes called ‘apartments’ when they’re all stuck together? 

 - - to close the door to everyday concerns - -

Question: Why does ‘fat chance’ and ‘slim chance’ mean the same thing?

 - - to turn off the internet. Don’t get me wrong. The internet is fantastic. Magical. The conduit for you reading this post. But it is also - -

Question: Why do psychics need to ask for your name?

 - - possible to lose hours popping from one site to another. This is called ‘going down the rabbit hole’. True, it is a wonderland down there, but time does funny things. If you want to get whatever it is you’re working on finished, then don’t follow that rabbit. Be curiouser and curiouser about what’s going to unfold as you write, not on what’s through that little door in the wall. Concentrate on your words even when you start wondering - -

Why is the alphabet in that order?

Elspeth Futcher is an author and playwright. Thirteen of her murder mystery games and two audience-interactive plays are published by Her A Fatal Fairy Tale, Deadly Ever After and Curiouser and Curiouser are among the top-selling mystery games on the Internet.  Elspeth's newest game, Nice But Naughty is now available from her UK publisher, Red Herring Games, as is her Great British Bump Off and Once Upon a Murder. Elspeth's 'writing sheep' are a continuing feature in the European writers' magazine Elias and also appear on this blog from time to time. Connect with her on Twitter at @elspethwrites or on Facebook at Elspeth Futcher, Author.


  1. Love the post, Elspeth. What a great reminder to avoid... wait... I'm falling down a hoooole....

  2. So many times I've run right down that hole and never looked back...until I realized my time for writing had vanished just as had the rabbit I was chasing. Great post, Elspeth.

  3. Yes, I'm easily distracted. I need to focus on my writing today!

  4. LOL. Sounds like typical morning meanderings.

  5. Thanks for the chuckle, Elspeth. I definitely see myself in this post :-D

  6. I spend way too much time down the rabbit hole (reading blog posts like this one)...or watching the new dog learn to leave the cat alone and trying to get good pictures of their interactions...or making To Do Lists. You are so right about the need to focus. I'm working on it.

  7. This amusing post brought to mind this very funny video about distractions. We've all been there.

  8. LOL. This is great, Elspeth! And very true!

  9. Laugh out loud funny, Elspeth! This is exactly the way my mind works, only I always stop to answer the crazy question or at least try.


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