Monday, February 21, 2011

Dealing with Distraction by Erin Bassett, Author of Clock Work

Today's guest blogger is Erin Bassett, author of the urban fantasy online series, Clock Work.

When Esther St. Claire rejoins her sophomore year a semester late she expects a relatively quiet return.

But odd things begin to happen even before she can get to campus; starting with a strange encounter with a new student that escalates to attacks on Westin Academy’s student body by creatures thought to exist only in fairy tales in a myths.
An other worldly battle is going on and somehow Esther is the key.

"Dealing with Distraction" by Erin Bassett

Most writers nest. We dig in, create a space and make ourselves at home before we start work. And for a good percentage of us it's at home. The appeal of writing in your pajamas with whatever beverage of choice readily available and literally surrounded by the comforts of home is hard to resist. But, inevitably, those comforts tend to become distractions. The cat runs across the key board, the kid's boredom demands alleviation only you can give or, if you're like me, the laundry and dirty dishes start to seep into your mind creating a mental block. And even if you aren't bombarded with the everyday there's the mother of all distractions: the Internet. What's a writer to do? Well i have come up with a few simple tricks that keep me focused and the distractions at bay.

1. For those lucky enough to live with loved ones or liked ones: Tell them what you are doing. Don't just hole up in your writer's space with no warning or explanation. If you don't at least attempt to communicate how important your writing time is, how will anyone in the house know?

2. Good way to get at least an hour of uninterrupted time from little ones? Put on a movie for them. My mom used to use don't Wake Your Mom with Lamb Chop. Dating myself aside, I was thoroughly entertained for an hour and mom got a nap. There's also the option of a day sitter. I used to go over to a neighbour’s house and babysit two kids while their mom practiced karate in the basement. She got her time and we had fun upstairs.

3. Really addicted to the net? Can't resist the temptation to tweet? Put your iPhone in the next room and pull up the timer on your computer. Or get a cooking timer. Set it for 45 minutes. Tell yourself once you have got 45 solid mins of writing then you can go check out face book or tweet. But once again time yourself. Five or so minuets then back to writing. Slowly up the writing time and decrease the distraction time. It will really help time management and slowly break the Net addiction. Then maybe the next time you tweet it will be to tell everyone you have a finished manuscript!

Now, that said, I’m a firm believer that you cannot force a muse. Sometimes the mind is just too full of other things to be creative. It happens to the best of us.

I hope you find these little tricks helpful. And remember: You are not a writer unless you write! So get past those distractions and write on!

E.L. Bassett, informally Erin and familiarly Rin, has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Before that she was prone to telling you all about how her sister was an alien and her dog pulled carts for garden fairies and dragging you into to the backyard to show you were Flybys (insect like creatures with powers over the elements) were nesting. Her penchant for the fantastic carried through grade school, evolving into a fascination with Dragons. She was constantly in the library reading everything she could, which of course led to the discovery of J.R.R Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. She then knew she wanted to be a writer and her main genre would be fantasy.
In 4th grade she participated in the ECISD annual Oral Traditions Competition, her story being one complete with unicorns and ogres, taking home 6th place in the city. She can still recall the first 5 lines, which probably has a lot to do with the unicorn.

After joining the North Texas Speculative Fiction Writer’s Workshop while studying at TCU she was included in their chapter book with the science fiction story: Spirit of Hope. Since then she has been published in Indigo Rising, Raven Images and Abandoned Towers Magazine and has a chapbook published by Diminuendo Press.
The serial Clock Work came about when the Managing Editor at Abandoned Towers contacted Erin with the offer. After writing up a brief synopsis on two of the, many, works in progress, Clock Work was chosen. From there illustrator Juliet Doherty was found and the project came to life.

Erin enjoys off beat, out the ordinary writing of the urban fantasy persuasion, but also revels in classic fantasy stories with gripping battles, wizards, dragons or monsters, and epic fight scenes set in far off, mythical or fantastic places. Her book shelves are packed with everything from Holly Black, Martin Miller and Terry Pratchett to Christy Lijewski, Dean Koontz and Hal Duncan.

Erin Bassett is Senior Editor for CW Productions and her serial Clock Work airs every 5th of the month here:


Tribute Books Mama said...

Hi, I just chose you as one of the recipients of Seven Facts Award. Hope you will accept it.

April said...

What a delightful and wonderful post! Tons of great advice. Erin, I think your book sounds soooo amazing. I hope to get my hands on a copy soon and delve in!!