Shiny Object Syndrome

We are heavy into week two of NaNoWriMo and on day 10 I feel myself being pulled in several different directions, distracting myself from the larger task at hand. I climbed into bed last night, the alarm set for a bright and early 8AM, prepared to wake, eat a sensible breakfast, and get comfortable in front of my computer.

Instead, this is how my morning went:

10:30 – Finally climb out of bed. I’d been pressing “snooze” on my phone for the last 2 1/2 hours, but my body had been refusing to cooperate.

10:45 – Throw some wheat bread in the toaster and give each piece a light layer of butter and jelly. Somewhat sensible.

11:05 – Shiny object #1. The large sign in the window of Dunkin’ Donuts advertising Mint Hot Chocolate beckoned me into the store for a small cup of minty, chocolatey goodness.

11:30 – Wander the mall for a dress to wear to a wedding tomorrow. (How many people are getting married because it’s 11/11/11?) Do I need a new dress? Nope.

1:00 – An hour and a half spent wandering. Got a new dress. (It’s cute!) Leave the mall with plans to hit the gym before returning home to write, but instead I decide to go home and work out later, because I’m so eager to raise that word count.

1:25 – Sit down for a light lunch, promptly get distracted by the ID channel, and a show discussing murders of street walkers in Atlantic City. I try to justify this as research for my novel.

2:00 – Finally sit down at the computer, log into Facebook, and lazily scroll through the latest News Feed. Still haven’t gotten anything done.

2:10 – Log into WordPress and consider changing the theme of my blog. I decide not to.

2:15 – Decide to write a new post about being distracted from my writing.

2:23 – Still writing the post. Still not NaNoWriMo-ing.

And this is where I end my post, before I make an even larger fool out of myself. I’ve spent the first 4 hours of my day doing a lot of unnecessary junk. It’s time to – look! Shiny object!

In the words of Kurt Vonnegut, “so it goes”.

How do you un-glue yourself from the shiny objects?

Happy NaNoWriMo-ing, everyone!



“I can always be distracted by love, but eventually I get horny for my creativity.”
– Gilda Radner


Filed under Writing

6 responses to “Shiny Object Syndrome

  1. NM, LOVE the Gilda quote. as to the distractions: i guess i’m waaaay too disciplined…my Aunt Helga was a dominatrix – don’t ask. … but i find writing (ok, i’m not writing novels here) to be such fun (i know how much you REALLY care to hear that right now)…not sure i’d find NaNoWriMo fun tho’…it sounds somewhat suspiciously to me like the Bataan Death March. continue…

    • Hmm, as soon as you said “don’t ask”, I find myself wanting to ask about your Aunt Helga, the dominatrix. So, I guess that’s me asking. 🙂

      While I am finding NaNoWriMo to be fun (most of the time), it’s more so a means of getting my ideas down on paper much faster than I would normally do so. I also find writing to be extremely fun – hence the reason I pour over this novel for hours on end – but mostly when I am writing at my own pace. This “literary abandon” stuff is very difficult, but a different way of disciplining the timeline of my creativity, so I am enjoying the experience. I plan on struggling through to 50,000 words, and THEN I’ll get to the fun part: tearing through those words and deciding what’s good, what needs to be changed, and what can go away altogether.

      As usual, thank you for the comment! And please, let’s all gather around the camp fire and hear the tale of Aunt Helga. 😉

  2. Kana Tyler

    My husband and I are laughing– “Shiny Thing” is something of a byword (or possibly a swear-word?) in our household… 😉

    • Haha! Glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂 I’d like to know the significance of “Shiny Thing” for you…but I suppose I can read between the lines a bit and figure that one out, lol. 😉

  3. Oh my gosh, I am *exactly* like you! The more time I think I have in my day, the more time I end up wasting. My thought process goes something like this: I have 10 hours before my husband gets home! I’m gonna have soooo much time to get everything done today. I think I’m just gonna surf the net for a little while… I think I’m gonna watch this movie first… I think I’m just gonna take a little nap…

    I actually get more done on my busy days because I know if I don’t sit down and write RIGHT NOW, I’m not going to get my word count in. Also, I tend to get up earlier on those days, and the more I can knock out before my son wakes up, the better.

    If you ever figure out how to avoid distractions though, let us know!

    • If I ever find a cure, I most certainly will let you know! Yes – I find that I can get more writing done on those days when I’m running around like a mad woman! But if I have all that free time…*yawn* all I want to do is laze around.

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