A Tale of Writing Distractions Avoided


Hi there, readers! You may have noticed changes to my blog page recently. Yesterday, I decided to take the plunge and purchase my own domain name. In doing so, I am now trying to reorient the blog a bit to make it more of a broader landing page and dedicated author website.

Other than the appearance of the blog page itself, the most obvious change you’ve probably noticed is that the blog is no longer called ‘Love & Other Mugs’, instead it’s just titled with my name: Aly Walden. This change is partially due to the ease of design within the new WordPress theme I’m using, but also to further assimilate the blog itself into the greater whole of my author website.

I hope you like the new look and that the changes did not catch you off guard too much. I’d love to hear your feedback on the changes I’ve made! If you have your own website, what elements have you felt to be absolutely essential to include?

July Is Hot but My Word Count Is Hotter

Week one of July’s Camp NaNoWriMo is over. In honor of its completion and my surprising productivity this week, I thought it might be fun to dedicate this week’s topic to all of the things that did NOT distract me from writing this week. Here’s a list of 10 things I successfully avoided being distracted by in pursuit of reaching (and exceeding!) my daily word counts this week.

  1. Netflix. Ahh, the streaming service that has been many of our favorite source of time suck for the last several years. The onslaught of summertime has gifted me with new seasons of several of my favorite Netflix shows, and, folks, the temptation to binge is strong! There are only so many hours in the day, and I have to keep reminding myself that it will be so nice to have 50,000 words of my novel written by the end of the month. It further helps me to remind myself that those episodes will still be there come August 1st. I may just need to avoid social media for a spell, to avoid spoilers that someone (you know the one) will inevitably post.
  2. True crime podcasts. I love podcasts. The vast majority of the podcasts I subscribe to are true crime-related. Similar to a favorite TV show, my favorite podcasts have become a routine for me. I look forward to the weekly release of new episodes and truly hate to get behind. Getting behind on multiple podcasts can be especially overwhelming. Podcast-listening can be more productive than Netflix-watching because typically I can do something else while listening. Maybe cooking, washing the dishes, driving, etc. One thing I cannot do with much success while listening to a podcast is writing.
  3. How tired I am right now! Murphy’s Law says that “If anything can go wrong, it will”. So you can be certain that once I commit to writing 50,000 new words during July Camp NaNoWriMo, a full night’s sleep will evade me. I’m not much of a napper, so I am hoping I can get my sleep schedule sorted soon.
  4. Housework. This is one item on the list that perhaps I should have been distracted by. I guess there’s always next week…
  5. The cat. True to his feline nature, my kitty cat likes plenty of alone time. Many times, he would prefer to watch me typing on my laptop from afar, rather than hang out on my lap. This is one lack of distraction I’m lamenting. Just love me, kitty cat. Just love me.
  6. The day job. Wow, did I get lucky with timing and time off this week. It was only a three-day work week for me due to the holiday and having an extra day off on the fifth. So, while I’m celebrating my progress this week, next week’s full work week may make things more difficult.
  7. My ineptitude at using Scrivener. I typically use Microsoft Word for writing, but I had bought Scrivener at a discount after winning NaNoWriMo last November. I know that there are people who really love what Scrivener has to offer, so I was determined to try it out with this novel. Due to lack of time, I decided to just jump into using it. I have no regrets. The cork board feature is especially useful to planning my current story. Though I don’t yet have a good handle on all of its features, overall, it’s been easier to jump into using than I initially thought.
  8. My inability to come up with a title. *Sigh* I have so much trouble coming up with titles. It’s a major problem. I still do not have a settled-upon title for any of the three novels I’ve begun. At least I didn’t get wrapped up in contemplating a working title this time—I’ve simply been calling it “book three”. File this one under “Will deal with it later”.
  9. Editing book #1. Oops. Wasn’t I supposed to be doing something else in addition to drafting book three? Oh yeah. I was supposed to be revising draft one, book one. About that. Maybe it’s a better goal for August.
  10. Loved ones. Okay, so maybe I was a little bit distracted by my loved ones this week—it was a holiday, after all. I’d say that this is one of those worthwhile distractions though. Family support is so important to my writing progress. If you feel the same, don’t beat yourself up for spending time with your loved ones in lieu of writing for a few hours (or even a few days). Occasionally, that time is needed, even if just to let your loved ones know you’re doing okay and to refill your creative well.

Way to go, you!

If you’re taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo this month, it’s time to celebrate! Even if you’ve not kept up with your daily goal. If you have any words written at all this week, that’s more than you had before July 1st. Great job, you! Keep it up.

As always, remember to take care of yourself this month. Trust me, I know it’s easy to get so wrapped up in writing that you forget to eat or hydrate. We should definitely celebrate when we successfully avoid distractions from writing, but sometimes we need those “distractions” to keep us sane and healthy.


It’s been a jazzy, easy-listening type of week. Music inspiring my writing this week: “Carolina In The Morning” – Dean Martin; “Beyond the Sea” – Bobby Darin


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