How Distraction Can Be an Asset

distraction as asset

Over the last year, a consistent theme has emerged in my discussions with writers around the country: They feel distracted. While that distraction is often connected to social media, it’s just as much about current events that we observe through social media. There’s a never-ending and chaotic feed of news that crowds out those things that remain (or at least once felt) important to us.

What is to be done?

I admire and recommend Lee Conell’s way of dealing with distraction in this month’s Glimmer Train bulletin:

I decided that distraction did not have to be something to beat myself up over. It could be an asset. It could even be a kind of craft tool. After all, the more I let my mind wanderings play out, the more I noticed that most of my thoughts also had to do with narrative: A plot twist in the news. … If I gave it time, all of my distractions funneled themselves into something like fiction.

Keep reading The Art of Distraction.

Also in this month’s Glimmer Train bulletin:

Share this
Posted in Creativity + Inspiration.

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), received a starred review from Library Journal.

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments