What Are Your Distractions?

A person working on a laptop where you see the laptop and just their hands and forearms.

I can generally work with anything going on. As long as I have headphones or earbuds, I can drown out pretty much any annoying background noises. Sometimes, though, I can’t.

Today is one of those days.

The TV in the next room is too loud. I’m tired and my mind keeps wandering. Random bits of conversation filter through.

What do you do on days where everything is a distraction? What distracts you?

Today, I’m keeping on keeping on. I’m chipping away at my to-do list. I’ve made some phone calls, sent some emails, and now I’m working on this post. Later, I will work on some crochet and do some planning around that.

I have one more phone call to make and some book edits to work on, too. So I would say that despite the distractions, I’m making good progress.

What about you?

50% Writer, 50% Business Person

Eloisa James
Photo (c) 2014 by Jen Nipps

Eloisa James was the keynote speaker at the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc., conference earlier this month. She also presented a lunch session one day of the conference.

If at all possible, you need to hear her speak. She is very polished and very knowledgeable.

Of everything she said, one thing has really stayed with me.

“You are 50% writer and 50% business person and the business comes first.”

Why did that resonate so much in my mind?

That’s an easy answer and a hard truth.

I tend to ignore the business side of things. I write too much for free or for very little pay. Speaking of which, I’m going to stop writing for free. That means I’m going to start charging you to read this blog.

Just kidding.

The blog is something I do for me as well as for you. That’s something I couldn’t charge for.

There are things I can do — need to do — should have already been doing — though.

At the moment, I am a writer-in-residence at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow. In addition to working on a book about self-promotion and networking (Selling Yourself Is Not Prostitution: Networking & Self-Promotion for Wallflowers) while I’m here, I will also be planning how I can address more of the business side.

I need to do that.

I have to do that.

If I don’t, there is no sense in my continuing to work as a writer. No one would expect an accountant or a lawyer to work for free. They wouldn’t expect a doctor to either.

Why should writers?

Why should any kind of artist?

We shouldn’t.

I’m going to change that for myself. I have friends I can call on for advice. Friends who have made their livings as freelance writers/editors for years. If they can do it, so can I.

But I have to put the business side into practice as well.

What about you? What is it in your writing life that you tend to neglect even though it needs attention?