Top Ten Things That Sidetrack Me From Writing
1. Law and Order marathons: Or really, TV in general. I often like to have the TV on when I write, because it sort of distracts my brain a bit - in a good way! - but sometimes it has the opposite effect and I get totally sucked in. What can I say? I love me some Jerry Orbach.
2. NAPS! I love naps. I may take one right now, in the middle of writing this post. There's something so decadent about napping as an adult... and also, I love dreams. Sometimes I actually dream solutions to story-related problems, so in a way, I'm technically working. Yeah... I'm going with that.
3. Crazy/fascinating people in coffee shops: When I'm being serious and writerly, I'll take my laptop out into the world and park myself somewhere where I can't be distracted by the usual distractions. But I'm still me, and weird stuff follows wherever I go. I have yet to find a place to write that isn't filled with the strangest and most interesting people-watching opportunities... and it would be selfish of me to focus on writing when I could be Tweeting about the real-time shenanigans, right?
4. The INTERNET: FB and Twitter... gossip websites... I am totally hooked. I honestly have no idea how kids in school get anything done these days - if there had been the internet when I was that age, nary a paper would've been handed in. Ever.
5. MAKING VIDEOS: Sometimes you have to get creative in order to procrastinate. Then it is a good idea to make videos of your cats with your BFF. Need proof? Watch this:
6. Horror films: I LOVE HORROR FILMS! I actually wrote one with a good friend of mine, so maybe it'll be available to help YOU procrastinate one of these days... anyway, it's very important to leave the house and go eat Junior Mints and be scared. Excellent sidetracking tool.
7. Candy: Some candy-eating requires the eater's full attention. Examples: Cadbury eggs, Twix bars, Milky Ways, Oreos. There's a two-handed system involved, and you mustn't be distracted by silly writing. Don't even get me started on ice cream and pudding - definitely two-handed, full-attention required endeavors.
8. Practicing the guitar: I have a guitar and I know how to make many chords and sort of stumble through a bunch of songs. I'll never be in a band, no matter how much I practice... which isn't much. But that guitar is right there in the corner of my apartment, and it cries out: "You should play me! Put down that silly computer at ONCE!" So I do.
9. Reading other people's writing for inspiration: It's much easier to get lost in a book that's already written and perfected than to write your own! Oh, delicious books. I love you so.
10. Re-reading what you already wrote... again. I am always re-reading stuff instead of writing new stuff. It's a miracle I ever get past 5 pages of anything, seriously. (Please excuse me while I go re-read this post.)
Meredith Zeitlin is a writer and voiceover artist who lives in Brooklyn with two adorable feline roommates. She also writes a column for Ladygunn Magazine, changes her hair color every few months, and has many fancy pairs of spectacles.