A. Catherine Noon – Information Overload

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One of the largest problems of the internet culture is too much information.  We are bombarded with too many options.  Back in the day it used to be just television.  Now it’s television, email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, smart phones, tablets, and more – distraction, distraction, distraction.  Then there are the real demands on our time:  kids, spouses, friends, work, chores, school, etc.

If we are an author, like to write, or even just hoped one day to set fingers to keyboard, what are we to do to get around these pitfalls?

I wish I had a magic button for us.  (It’s the X key on the keyboard.)  I wish a spell could do it for us.  (Get a black cat and let him sleep on your computer.)   But it’s like they say in the Nike ad – “Just do it.”

Great.  But how?

My advice?  Cheat.  Beg, borrow, or barter.  Play with it.  Experiment with any idea that you can get your hands on.  Lock yourself in the bathroom with your laptop.  Hide your notebook under your shirt and go for a walk in the park.  Take a bus ride and let the people around you distract your brain so you can concentrate.

Think I’m kidding?  I’ve done all of these things.  So have others I’ve known who write.  You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to write.  Which is all well and good, but about what does one write?

If we don’t already have an idea (and, let’s face it, if we did, we wouldn’t be asking this question, right?), there are lots of places to get them.

Here are a few ideas:

Beg – set a digital timer or the timer on your smart phone for twenty minutes and sit with a blank page in a notebook or on your computer.  Close off all other distractions – unplug your internet or turn off your wireless, don’t answer the phone, and ignore the doorbell (you might warn your family and close friends first so they don’t panic if you’re suddenly AWOL).  See what comes out of your mind without judgment.  Just write whatever’s there.

Borrow – enter “writing prompt” in Google to see all the options available to you.  Pick one at random and go for it.

Barter –  play with your memory.  Make a list of everything in your bedroom or your desk at work.  Then do it for your desk from ten years ago.  Then try ten years in the future.  Experiment with moving your imagination from place to place.

What works for you?  I’d love to hear in the comments.

Join me during the month of April for a free workshop on Coffee Time Romance, Using Prompts to Expand Your Repertoire.

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“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

– E.E. Cummings

 

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Publishers: Samhain Publishing | Torquere Press

 

Check out BURNING BRIGHT, available from Samhain Publishing.
Check out EMERALD FIRE, available from Torquere Books.
Check out “Taking a Chance“, part of the Charity Sips 2012 to benefit NOH8, available from Torquere Books.

Watch for TIGER TIGER, coming July, 2013, from Samhain Publishing.

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8 Comments:

  1. Thank you for being a guest, Noony! I know the only way to keep myself from being distracted these days (and it is tough) is by completely ignoring the internet. The first thing I open when I need to get writing is Word. I know if I open my browser window, I won’t be writing for a while. Lol.

    • A. Catherine Noon

      Thank you for hosting me, Charlie! I’m so pleased to be here. I love the new digs!!

      I agree; I have trouble ignoring the internet too. It’s sad when I have to physically turn off the wi-fi so I don’t let my brain noodle over stuff it has no business noodling over. 🙂

  2. I love to make lists, so I put writing down and alot 30 minutes to it just like any other chore. I know an author shouldn’t think of being creative as ‘a chore’ but if I ration time for cleaning the kitchen , then I can do it for my writing. The big difference is I don’t set the timer to stop if my creative juices are flowing.

    • A. Catherine Noon

      Oooh. I like the idea of letting the timer just roll on if you’re on a, well, roll. (Sorry, it’s late.) 🙂 But what a fun idea! And I totally agree – if you have time for the fridge, you have time for the characters!

  3. Oooh… I think I’ll try “begging” first thing tomorrow morning. (err… after brushing my teeth and getting my daily essential dose of coffee, that is… otherwise, I won’t be sane enough… LOL)

    Never thought of it that way. Thank you so much!! 😀

    • A. Catherine Noon

      Let me know how the “begging” goes. 🙂 It’s a strong tool, especially because by the time the timer dings, you’ve already got your words. Sneak ’em in before the Critic gets up, so-to-speak.

      Happy writing!

  4. Great suggestions! Unfortunately, Rachel’s comment reminds me that I need to clean the kitchen. And a closet. Sigh…

    I look forward to your workshop!

    • A. Catherine Noon

      Cleaning can be a great right-brained activity! It’s something active, rather than passively accepting the words of others, and it allows your creative mind to mull over creative ideas. Maybe take your journal with you when you tackle these projects and see what inspiration happens in the sock drawer. 🙂

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