Three Distractions That Kill Writing

Since I began writing my YA novel I have become incredibly efficient at everything other than writing. My house is cleaner than it’s been before my son was born. My office is organized, my kitchen is tidy and de-cluttered. We rearranged the furniture and I planted my hanging baskets.

Every time I think, I should get back to my book, a new chore pops into my head that has to get done right away. Procrastination is fickle, ever-changing, and a writers worst nemesis. Aside from chores, here are the main culprits of distraction that I battle every day.


Oh sitcoms, you are my downfall. F.R.I.E.N.D.S, The Golden Girls, The Middle, and many more. I could easily lose days watching these shows. It’s so tempting to zone out when my son is sleeping and just let the television entertain me.

Turn off the damn television Rachel.


Here are the tabs I currently have open on my screen:

  • Amazon
  • Redfin
  • Yahoo
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Etsy
  • WordPress (duh)

Poor little Microsoft Word is minimized at the bottom of my screen and shovedlike a pair of dirty socks out of my immediate visual proximity.

I can justify WordPress because I’m writing and engaging with other writers, but the rest of the tabs I should just close up and put away for an indefinite while. They are total time-sucks. I spend so much time reading about other people’s success (real or otherwise) when I should be focusing on my own goals.

Close the damn tabs Rachel.


Reading is valuable research, but also my deadliest procrastination. If someone told me I had to chose one source of entertainment to pick, reading would win hands-down every time. Aside from spending time with my friends and family, reading is my greatest joy. It’s my drug and my own YA book pays for  my addiction.

My Solution: Balance

To complete our goals we all need balance. If I gave 100% to my goals, I would burn out and I can’t allow my patience to extinguish, because my husband and son need me too. I have given up A LOT of my television time, that addiction was by far the easiest to weed-out. I’ve tried cutting back on the internet, but it’s more persistent and follows me wherever I go (hello smart phone). So I try really hard to just check my notifications, and I don’t allow much scrolling. I focus on the most important media outlet (WordPress) and spend most of my time there. I still get sucked in, but I’m working on it.

As far as reading goes, I am only reading one book at a time and I allow myself to read AFTER I write before bed. I also sneak pages in while my son is playing or during nap time. I’m a firm believer that reading is critical for writers, and I simply refuse to deprive myself of the joy of reading.

What are some of the deadliest distractions to your writing? How do you battle your procrastination demons? Let me know in the comments below.

I gotta go, my Microsoft Word icon looks sad and neglected at the bottom of my screen.




Author: Rachel McKee

I love reading about everything. I'm not a book snob. Lately I have been "reading" a lot of picture books to my toddler and baby. In my past life before motherhood, I was a professional technical editor and writer.

20 thoughts on “Three Distractions That Kill Writing”

  1. Wow. This post really speaks to me. It’s all so true! I have all these tabs open ALL THE TIME, and it’s a really poor excuse for not getting writing done. I can’t balance at all.. I’m either fully invested in writing, or watching shows, reading, and on social media. I can only do one or the other. I’m always reading too! But I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t take a lot of time (time that could be spent writing). I mean, reading is definitely research for me, so I wouldn’t say it’s bad … For the longest time too, I kept researching and not writing at all. I have so much research now, it almost makes me forget to write. I use this software now called Scrivener, so I can put all my research and documents into one place, and I can SEE my notes as I write. It’s really helpful! I’d recommend it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love this post so much!!! I’ve almost stopped watching TV because I just don’t have time. I had almost stopped using Pinterest, and then I found out that I can justify that by calling it “research.” And now that I have a computer that can handle minecraft again, that’s been sucking a lot of time. So those are my two biggest ones right now: Pinterest and Minecraft. And of course WordPress, but since blogging is a form of writing, I tend not to count that.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Stay far away from minecraft. It’s too late for me, but you can save yourself lol. There’s no such thing as playing just a little minecraft. I’ll be like “let me just build a quick house” and next thing I know I’ve built an entire neighbourhood and two days have gone by with no food or sleep. Hahaha.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Loved this post and it’s candidness! Writing a novel is incredibly fun but the process can grow so tediously scary. I wish you luck with your journey! You will learn so many exciting things about yourself and the world in the process! (Then send me your work I love a good YA)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my gosh, YES, a million times over re: Minecraft. My oldest tends to be a little obsessive, and his current obsession is MC. If he could actually go live on a server for a few months and be back when he gets it out of his system, he literally would do that.

    When I can tell I’m getting too involved in other things – when I know I *need* to write – I’ll simply find a better environment to help exchange the distractions, or at least minimize them. Example – turn off the TV, put music on (and a relaxing Celtic soundtrack or nature-based CD at that). If I really want to watch a movie, but know the notebook will continue to sit in the corner, put on a movie I’ve seen so many times I can easily tune it out when I need to focus more on the plot point or setting description or dialogue moment.

    Liked by 1 person


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