Ah, the life on a farm!  It certainly is one of excitement.  Nothing is ever boring, and something always goes wrong.  Guaranteed. 

It's like a predator.  Once one sneaky critter realizes it can stick around and cause problems, word gets around, and more start coming.  It could be just a small little detail, but it often leads up to a whole chain of predators, er, problems (or problems in the form of actual predators).

An example from over this past winter is proof enough. 

Situation:  The horses need to eat something.
Problem:  It is mid-winter, and all the grass is dead.
Solution:  Feed them hay.

Problem:  Because of the bad hay year, our hay farmer doesn't have a lot of square bales.
Another problem:  We're running out of the load of square bales we were able to buy.
Solution:  A local friend gives us the number of a guy with nice round bales.

Problem:  We have never done round bales before.
Solution:  We'll figure it out.  Can't be that much harder that square bales, right?

Admittance:  We were wrong.

Situation:  We have one round bale in the bed of the truck, and four more on the flat-bed trailer.
Problem:  We don't have a place to store such big bales of hay. 
Another Problem:  It's starting to rain.
Solution:  Park beside long driveway and cover the hay with a tarp.

Restatement of Previous Problem:  The horses are still hungry.

Situation:  We need to move these huge round bales from the trailer to the pasture so the horses can eat them.
Problem:  These things weigh a good couple hundred pounds.  We're not picking them up and moving them anywhere.
Solution:  Buy a hay spike for the tractor at the farm store.

Current Plan:  Drive the tractor to the garage, attach hay spike, carry round bale to pasture.

Problem:  The battery for the tractor is dead.  We're not driving it anywhere.
Another problem:  There is no light in the basement, so we can't see the battery well enough to remove it.
Solution:  A chicken heat lamp from the chick stuff in the basement.  Plug it in, and light!

Problem:  There's no light bulb in the heat lamp.
Solution:  Run panicking around the property searching in every single place we store farm stuff, looking for a light bulb.  It is finally found with the home supply stuff in the basement right beside the tractor.

Problem:  The light bulb does not fit the heat lamp socket.
Solution:  Remove the broken shards of previous light bulb from the lamp socket; replace with new, complete and working one.

Problem:  Acid from the battery is spilling on pants, burning holes in the jeans. 
Solution:  Remain completely clueless of situation until bedtime, and casually prepare to remove battery with a socket set. 

Problem:  Socket set is at the shop.
Solution:  Gather number of siblings, drive to shop, and grab socket set and the battery charger. 

Brief Victory:  Remove battery, and charge it.

Situation:  The tractor is now in working order and is at the garage so we can put on the hay spike.
Problem:  There is no place to install the hay spike.
Solution:  Drill a hole in the bucket.

Problem:  The drill is at the shop.
Solution:  Everyone piles into the truck and drives off to get the drill.

Problem:  There is not a drill bit the correct size for the needed hole.
Solution:  Ransack the garage, looking for something close to the correct size, until I find the perfect one hiding in a pile of chains and other old historic stuff from my father's grandpa.

Situation:  The hay spike is finally on the tractor, and now we're going to pick up the first round bale and take it to the barn on the gator.
Problem:  The hay spike will not penetrate the tightly packed bales.
Solution:  Spray cooking spray on the spike. 
Statement of Defense:  That's what the guy we bought the bales from told us to do in the event of spike not penetrating.

Problem:  The spray is not working.
Solution:  John will push on one side, Father and the tractor on the other, and we'll eventually get it on.

Mathematical Equation:  Because John < Round Bale, and Tractor > John what you end up with is a -John.
Solution:  We decide to forget being perfect, and accept a round bale half-mounted on the hay spike.

Current Plan:  Hurriedly transport round bale from tractor spike to back of gator so we can drive to pasture without dropping said hay bale.

Problem:  The gator battery is also dead.
Solution:  Dump the round bale in the truck bed to drive around to the barn, as we've had enough problems for the day.

Problem:  The round bale is right at the weight limit for the tractor.
End result:  Barely make it to the truck, dump the round bale in the bed, drop it off at the barn.
Complete end result:  Happy horses, and a number of tired humans who never want to see a round bale again.

For the record, we now have a better, more efficient, way of handling round bales.  But our first experience with them was obviously not the best.  :)  Hope you enjoyed!

First Drafting, Part 5: Boredom

A few years ago, I was writing a horse science-fiction novel (don’t ask…).  It was a pretty okay plot, but while it was something I was passionate about (horses) with characters that I enjoyed writing, I struggled with it.  For a while, I thought it was the fact that I’m not a science/futuristic kind of girl (okay, I sort of am, I just haven’t watched/read a lot in that genre).

Eventually my dear friend Sarah pointed out that I didn't enjoy the story because I didn’t like the MC.  And not only that, but I loved the Fire Horse group way more and cared more about their story.  Simply put, I was simply writing about the wrong story.  I didn’t want to tell Charlotte’s story, but the story of how a number of teenage horse riders became a power team of galactic warriors.

With another story I once tried to write, I got bored because it simply wasn’t exciting.  The characters were dull, I really didn’t have much of a plotline, and things boiled quickly down to where I didn’t feel like writing it at all.  So I dumped it.  Completely.  All I have is a faint remembrance of it, and a grateful feeling that I didn’t try to struggle my way through it and waste all that time on a plot-less conglomeration of characters.

But how do you find the right story, one that doesn’t make you lose interest?  And what do you do if you actually lose interest on a story you thought was worth your time?

Wait for the Right One

This may sound a bit crazy, and totally not what you want to do, but when you first get a story idea, don’t drop everything and start writing!  Don’t flip open your planner and start a chapter outline.  Don’t begin making up characters.

Write the idea down.

Everything, whether it’s a sentence, or an entire three pages of information (plots, characters, etc.).  Whatever you do, don’t lose that idea!

Then go on your merry way.

As you continue to mull over that idea, add things that come to your mind (like a side plot, character idea, scene, so on).  Are you becoming more and more excited about it?  Or after a while, do you find it’s not so interesting after all?

Sitting on a story for a while before writing may help you from losing interest after a few chapters.  I once got an idea for a story about a girl with a twin brother who was given up for adoption.  As is my custom, I added it to my “Story Ideas” note and let it sit.  And it still is the same two sentences and a working title as it was when I first got the idea.  I’m not really excited by the idea of writing that story anymore, and I don’t think about it much.  And that is why I don’t start writing or outlining when I get an idea.  If I had tried to write that book then and there, I certainly would have lost interest or gotten stuck.

You can argue that perhaps I would have gotten inspired if I had gotten to know the characters or gotten deeper into a plot.  And yes, that might be true.  But right now, I haven’t published anything.  I need to work on a story that I am passionate about it.  Not one that I sorta find interesting.  I can work on these “sort of stories” once I’m rich and famous and have more time to explore ideas that may not work out.

But I’m not throwing that idea away.  Oh, no.  I still have that idea.  If any new thoughts come up, I’m adding them.  If I get all the other story ideas written or added to other stories, I’ll come back to this one.  Or this may get added as s sub plot for a different story.

Now how long do you have to sit on these ideas?  You decide.  I sat on the first Betrayal and Bravery book for just a few months.  I sat on Rauladin for a year (but mostly because I had planned to do it for Camp NaNo, and was just waiting for April to roll around).

When You Do Loose Interest

Ask yourself if you really love this story.  Do you want to just stop writing it completely, or is something just not clicking with it – causing you to not look forward to your writing time?  Why do you not have any more interest in the story, and what can you do to fix that?

If you just cannot stand the story, maybe you should stop writing it.  Spend a little more time before writing the next story, making sure that you can carry through with it to the end.  You don’t have to do extensive outlines (if you’re more of a pantster), but just get an idea of what the book will be like, and if you’re madly in love with it.

If you’re just getting depressed about the story, and are in that this will never amount to anything and no one will like it so why am I writing this mood, I will talk more about that later.  For now, I’ll just say: this is your story, and who cares if others don’t like it, you need to love it.

If you do really want to write this story, yet just can’t seem to get a connection with it, mix things up.  Throw your outline out the window, or perhaps make one.  Kill off a character or bring a new one in.  Just start a fight scene (my favorite bit of writing advice).  Make something unexpected happen.  Forget about where you think the story should go, and just start writing.

Maybe the story is simply burning you out, and all you need is a break.  Try stepping back for just a week.  Read a book.  Make a Pinterest board for your story.  Play games with the family.  Put in extra hours at work.  Just live without your book for a bit.  After a break, are you still not interested in it, or are you ready to come back with a fresh brain and new ideas?

Or perhaps you got a new and exciting story idea that you want to write instead?  Try writing that idea down, adding stuff to it, all the while pushing on with your current story.  Tell yourself you can write the next one as soon as the current story is finished.  Maybe that’ll give you some extra incentive.

So think it over.  Why are you not interested in your story?  And what can you do about it?

The Character Karaoke Tag

So when I saw Ivie do this post, I was pretty excited, because I really enjoy music and poetry and whatnot, though, admittedly, in genres some people don't listen to much *cough cough* bluegrass *cough cough*.  And when I saw she tagged me, I was really excited and couldn't wait to get started on this!

Here are the rules:

~Thank the person who tagged you (thanks Ivie, you're great!!!)
~Answer the questions (below)
~Tag any number of people (below the below)

Quick Note: I'll be using my main WIP, the Betrayal and Bravery trilogy, not Rauladin (the draft I just finished and have been posting about).  Just so no one is confused.

Question One
It's your OTP's wedding day. What's the song that plays during their first dance?

Well, I'm not going to say who they are, because spoilers.  But firstly, I would choose Homeland, which is a song from my trilogy.  It's beautiful, if I may say so.  But I jolly well can't find a YouTube video for that right now (though perhaps I may record it and put it on SoundCloud someday) so I also chose King Arthur's Inn, by Danny Rayel.  It has the medieval/fantasy sound that I'm looking for.

Question Two
What song describes your protagonist?

Well, Marywyn Windborne is a simple villager, one who has not seen much outside her home, so when she begins her adventures, she looks at everything with child-like eyes, seeing so many wondrous things that are new and amazing to her.  And so I went with Wunderkind, by Alanis Morissette. 

Question Three
Any instrument players or characters tied to instruments?

Oh, boy!  When Ivie reached this question in her post, I was like, man, if I had to answer that question it would be sooooo long!!!!  Because, yeah, I have a lot of characters that play and/or sing.  I'm withholding last names because of spoilers and also I'm changing a few in the current edit, so why get y'all mixed up?

Marywyn.  She has a lovely singing voice, which is key to the second book, Words of Song.  She also eventually learns to play a few chords on the lute, so she can get by when disguised as a minstrel, though it's not really natural for her.  And once she took Duren's fiddle and attempted to play it, but we won't speak any more of that embarrassing moment of her life...

Wisdom.  She has a great love for any kind of music, and while she doesn't play anything, she wishes she could.  Instead, she often sings harmony or lead.  She has a powerful, natural singing ability.

Rayn.  Yet another singer, with a deep, rich voice that's so beautiful you would cry to hear it.  He also plays the harp (not the big one you typically see, but a smaller, portable version).  He probably plays a larger one (or could if given the chance) but since he usually plays during the music-makings in the hay loft above the stable, it's much easier to bring a small one.

Jaran.  He sings when happy, though he's not very good (okay, he's pretty bad).  However, he knows it, so he usually just whistles all the time, or uses his bad voice when a situation seems to call for it.

Duren.  His fiddle is his voice, for he no longer speaks.  He carries his instrument on his back, and uses it to communicate (plucking a string to catch attention or make a point, or even in warning; sometimes he'll play very softly to set a mood; when he's upset at something, he'll also play to get the anger out).  Very talented, can even mimic animal sounds with his bow and strings.  People who knew him years ago said he also had a lovely singing voice, but it's only legend now.

Tach the Minstrel.  As his name suggests, he makes his living singing and playing his lute.  He travels the land in search of new songs and tales.

Ondore and Nahale are rumored to be very talented singers and harp players, but try as others might ask, these two have yet to acquiesce to their requests.

Antine.  He keeps a small flute in his pocket, which he takes out and plays whenever he is bored (which is often, as he has a small attention span).  May or may not discover a working bagpipe and learn how to play it...

And then there are the other singers and players you see in inns or at music-makings.  But I won't give you names and such.

To be honest, the Russian movie Only Old Men are Going to Battle inspired the musical warriors of the West Band a lot.

Question Four
Go-to songs for battle, romance, or intense scenes?

Admittedly, I don't select certain songs for the particular scene - I tend to just select a random album and write with that playing faintly in the background.  I prefer to listen to soundtracks while writing and avoid music with lyrics altogether, as that can turn my focus from the story to the song. 

My all-time noveling album is The Village soundtrack.  Hauntingly beautiful, it keeps me entertained and also doesn't distract from writing.  But I'll listen to the Marvel movie soundtracks, Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, Narnia, or whatever else suits my fancy for the day. 

Question Five
What song matches the first scene in your book?

The Gravel Road works well for the beginning - starting off softly, as Marywyn begins her story in the peaceful farming lands, and then stopping to the eerie quietness as she sees the coming Rochen army.  Then the pace picks up as she realizes they are in danger and she runs to warn the village.

Question Six
If your book was made into a TV show, what would the intro be?

Hmm... can I use Homeland again?  :D

If not, then probably Jump for Joy, from the Black Beauty soundtrack.  It's short (themes from tv shows generally are short, right? like, just for during the opening titles or something?), and has that lovely fiddle, and is really pretty. 

Question Seven
If you receive a call from an agent saying your book is being published, what is your celebratory song?

Check it out - a beautiful tune with the words of Psalm 45, one of my favorite Psalms, from the 1650 Psalter.  This is usually the song (or Psalm!) that comes first to my lips when I have a sudden urge to sing (that or Psalm 51).

The Re-Tag: anyone who has listened to a song this week!!  (And if you haven't checked out any of those videos, then I'm disappointed.)

Anyone else enjoy music?  Music in their stories?  Poetry in their stories?  Anyone else listen to bluegrass or watch old Russian films?

First Drafting, Part 4: Procrastination

Welcome back to the next installment of tips for finishing a first draft! And what better way to get this post done than to procrastinate and write it at the last minute?  (Granted, I have a fairly good excuse: I'm doing a major editing push on Words of Gold and all my free time is taken up with it.)

But back on the subject of Procrastination.  We all do it, some of us more than others.  So what do we need to do to get past it?

Because what's a better way to not write then to go ride a horse and walk the dog and go for a run all at the same time?
Check Actions

Remember when I said to make a list of priorities?  This is similar.  When you find yourself procrastinating and doing something that's not writing, run a quick priority check and just make that what you are doing is or isn't more important.  If you are washing the dishes or playing with your younger sister, don't stress over it.  If you're staring out the window or training flies for your new bug circus...maybe you need to turn that laptop on.

But also watch out for piddling on important tasks, so you don't have to get to writing, or not doing those things seriously.  For example, one of my biggest procrastinations is playing the banjo (no, I'm not joking).  I'll have half an hour before dinner to do something, and instead of writing, I'll just grab that thing and start playing a song.  And that's not bad in and of itself.  But I don't practice or even do a really good job.  I just kinda stare into the distance and let my fingers do their thing.  That is what annoys me...if I'm not going to write, and instead play an instrument, I'd better do it well and not waste that time

Get Motivated

So you may be procrastinating because there are other things more interesting than writing.  You totally want to write...just playing the banjo sounds more fun at the moment...

What gets you motivated to write?  Re-reading previous parts of your story?  Looking at your Pinterest board?  Listening to a certain song?  Keep a mental list in your head and use these as ammunition to get yourself back into a writing mood.  Don't overuse them, or they may become meaningless.  But do get yourself excited about writing.  Not only will you look forward to writing, you will actually write better.

*hums a song about a spoonful of sugar and all that nonsense*

Set Tasks

Maybe you're procrastinating because it seems like such a hard thing to do: write an entire draft!!  There's just no way you're going to finish it, so you don't really see the need to get writing.

So change things.  While your end goal is still to write a complete draft, shift your focus to finishing a scene or a chapter.  When you sit down to write, instead of saying "I'm going to type until I stop, and hopefully I'll be closer to the end" give yourself an easier goal. 

I'm going to write this entire counsel scene. 

I'm going to nail this conversation between these two characters.

I'm going to finish this chapter.

The writing process is less daunting when you break it down.  (Perhaps this is why a number of people use chapter-by-chapter outlines.)

Tell Someone

If you join a writing group, or at least tell someone you are writing, then you will be held accountable by them to, well, write.  Now you have someone breathing down your back, asking "are you done? are you done yet?"  So even if it's just to get them off your back, and prove that you can do something you set out to do, you'll get to writing.  Because what's more encouraging than someone popping in once a day or so and saying, "How's the writing going?  Got anything I can read yet?"

Or give yourself a deadline.  Knowing that I had to have this post up by Monday really helped me sit down and write it.

Force It

Or, of course, you could always throw down whatever you're doing, glue your rear end to your desk chair and force yourself to write.  Forget motivation, forget wanting to do it, just get right down to it and start typing.  You are a writer, so that's what you're going to do: write!!

What did I use to get this post written?  I sat down and did it.  How do y'all get past procrastination?  Remember, I'm not a wealth of wisdom - just a fellow writer trying to get everyone thinking about why they aren't finishing a draft, and what they can do to get it done.

Rauladin Sneak Peak: Characters

In celebration of finishing the first draft of Rauladin (and because I've been on vacation), I thought I would give a little sneak peak of the characters I have been spending my time with. 

Anyway, just a brief disclaimer before I start: All quotes are from a first draft.  Not all of the following excerpts (or characters)(or scenes) may be found in the finished work. 

Also I edited a few sentences (or withheld names) to keep spoilers to a minimum. 

With that out of the way...  *drum roll*

The Hero of the Story: Raul, son of Sarador
“If He wills that I should live and continue to lead my people, then not one enemy can kill me.  Not one arrow can pierce me.  Not one man can take me down.  But if He decides that my time is up, and I must leave this world, then not even my bodyguard can protect me.  Not even the strongest armor can keep out a weapon.  Even if I run from this fight, death will still find me.  But I will place my trust in Him alone.”
“You know that the Order is no more, and that I have chosen my path: a path not of blood, but of kindness.”
Sometimes Raul considering making a fake path that doubled around, traveling in a big loop, just to trick travelers going to his house.  When he was little, he even tried making the sap to mark it with, but after covering himself in the sticky substance, and being unable to wash it off, he threw the whole idea to the wind.  His Father never asked why his son was covered in black sticky sap, and scrubbed it off without comment.  Raul figured he guessed, but simply kept his questions to himself.

Ah.  Raul's father - Sarador

"Fools!!”  Sarador’s deep voice boomed, startling them all into silence.  “You are not thinking through this the right way!”
 Raul stared at his father, confused.  He and the prince spoke at the same time.  “What?!”
 “You are planning how to get to where you think you should be.”
“Berend is coming with me to the King’s Court,” Raul turned to face his father.  “He’s offered his services as a bodyguard, and I’ve taken him up.”
 “You both will get yourselves killed,” Sarador muttered.  “But it’ll give King What's-his-face something to think about first.”

And Berend - a Kinsman Bodyguard

“Order him, then,” Mayra spat.  “Order him, Princess!  I don’t think he will do it!  You don’t know him like I do!  He’s not the killing type.  He never was...He calls himself a bodyguard: someone who is supposed to protect life.  But he forgets that sometimes his position means killing things to save his charge from danger.”
“What inside or out of the forest is this??” Ravenna demanded, waving a piece of parchment in Raul’s face.  “Is this some sort of joke?”
 Raul ripped the parchment from her grasp and looked it over.  A comic sketch of Ravenna herself, with a Ragglyn tangled in her curly hair, covered the paper, etched in charcoal.  “That’s funny, that is.”
 “Who drew this??” she yanked it away only to wave it in front of his nose again.  “Wait – it can’t be you.  You don’t have any writing calluses to speak of.  Where’s your bodyguard?  I need to look at his hands.”
 Berend sat on the ground, leaning against his saddle, taking a drink and staring at the sky.  He patiently let Ravenna look his hands over, but she only huffed and stepped back. 
 “So many sword calluses and scars, I can’t tell if any are from drawing or not!  Did you make this?”  She shoved the parchment in his direction.
 “This is good,” Berend replied, pointing to the sketch.
 “No, it’s not!  Look at my nose!  It’s not that long!  And the hair...not curly enough!  That’s just plain wavy!  And what in the world is that Ragglyn doing?  When I find the person who drew this…” she growled, and marched off, deep in her purpose to find the villainous person who had done such a drawing.
 Raul turned to Berend.  “What do you think you’re doing?  Did you purposefully leave that in her saddlebags?!”
 Berend gave his rare smile.

Which Introduces Ravenna!

“What in the world is going on?  I can’t leave you alone for half a day?” Ravenna’s voice shattered the strained silence.  “Or is this just an attempt to let some stress out?  Because there’s a lot to stress over.”
“How can I ever repay you?” Gwen held out her hands, signifying her lack of money.
 Ravenna grinned.  “It’ll make my life a little more exciting.  That’s good enough for me!”

“I don’t think she’ll tell us anything.” Gwen stamped her foot.  “Traitor that she is!”
 “Unless she is allowed to scratch my lying mouth,” Ravenna prompted.  “I’m almost inclined to let her do it, just so we can get out of here.”

And Gwen.  The Princess.  And a sweetheart.

"Your men, if they drop their weapons and come to us, will be saved,” Gwen added, holding out an open hand.  “There is mercy to those who repent.”
“Why is violent fighting his reaction to everything?”
            “Why is thoughtful prayer yours?”  Gwen smiled, her words comforting, somehow, in a way he would never explain.

Let me not forget Fitz, a Teacher of the One.

“The One is more powerful than anyone we can ever imagine.  So who are we to decide what is good and bad for him to do?  We can only see our view of things, the here and the now.  We cannot see what will happen in the future, or how something now affects someone else.”
“What if we were not put on this earth to enjoy whatever good thing we can find, but what if we had a more important purpose?”

And Muirn, the man trying to gain the world.

“He leads with blood, hatred, and lies.  Anything built upon such will never last.”

He crouched low, examining the wounds, and then stood his hands flying to the hilt of his weapon.  “I know that sword stance,” he said softly, staring at the unconscious bodies.  “The one who does not kill!”  A shiver ran down the spine of the man who had managed to gather and lead an entire army under the mountains.
 He feared Berend nae Richimae above all else.  And Berend knew it.
 That made it worse.

Mayra tilted her head, almost mockingly.  “You have united the people, brother.  They are all gathered together with one goal in mind: your death.”

Lastly, Mayra.  Can't forget her!

“Look who is talking!  It’s a little girl who just wants to be seen as a great warrior!” Gwen threw her hands in the air, as if talking to an exasperating child.  “You play at swords, pretending to be scary, but you’re pathetic.  You can’t fight, Mayra.  Admit it.  You want to be great, and hope that perhaps your bother can get that for you.”

Who was she?”
“The sister to Muirn.”
“What did she want?”
“She wanted to finish the job.  Not that she could, of course.  They think she’s a great fighter, but she’s sloppy.  She just knows how to do it fast and make herself look good.”

So, what did y'all think?  Interested in reading more?  I wanna know! 

First Drafting, Part 3: Distractions

I'm back from my trip!!!  It was really enjoyable, and I got some worthwhile outlining done for the fifth draft of Words of Gold, and also some worldbuilding.  Thanks to Sarah and Evangeline for hanging out and writing with me!

And for our feature presentation:

I'm going to say it, and I know everyone will hate me, but here it is: turn off the internet!

Okay, I'm mostly kidding, you don't have to, but if you're desperate to finish the draft and you keep getting stuck on the internet...well, desperate people do desperate things...

So how do you defeat this monster of a networking-world, or anything else that may catch your attention away from your story, aside from moving to the middle of nowhere and living off the land and writing your story on leaves in a hand-made tree house?

No, that is not my cat.  I was writing at a campground the other week, and this little guy came and was a very big distraction.  I couldn't resist snapping a picture before giving him a hug and sending him on his merry go bother the other girls trying to write, lol.


Yes, we need to learn control!  If you can't look at Pinterest without getting swept away for 15 minutes, then don't look at it!!!  If you easily get stuck in an organizing mood, don't clean up your desk before you start writing!!  If you know you'll be stuck searching the internet when you just need to Google a quick that thing down and research it later!


Use your internet distractions as rewards.  If you write for fifteen minutes, you can check FaceBook for five.  Got 500 words down?  Watch a YouTube video.  Just be sure to be honest with yourself, don't cheat, and don't get caught on a binge after the allotted time has passed!


Get rid of distractions before they happen.  Does your cat annoy you while writing?  Toss her outside, or put a cardboard box somewhere for her to lay in.  Ask your family to give you ten or fifteen minutes of peace.  Put your phone on silent.  Sit somewhere where you won't be distracted to pick up a book a flip through it.  Go to a cafĂ© corner where everyone looking at you will force you to stare at the screen and type so you look professional.  Play some music to cover over the sounds of your siblings playing in the other room.


Sometimes just telling your family and friends that you are writing a story, and would like some free time to get that done, can work.  Don't ask for a ridiculous amount of time, just ten minutes, or fifteen, or half an hour, depending on your schedule and lifestyle.  Explain that if you get your writing time, you'll be happy to play a game or do something with them afterwards. 

And then spend that given time seriously.  Don't use it to scroll through FaceBook.  If your sister passes by and sees you laughing at videos on YouTube, she is less likely to let you have your time alone (and may even bound over to watch with you).  But if she checks in on you, and you're deeply engaged in your story, she may let you alone (unless there's an emergency), and perhaps even push the cat outside so he won't bother you anymore!


Tell yourself, "yes, there's noise, but I'm not going to pay attention to it."  And then slip some headphones in and ignore it as best you can.  Move to a different room or sit outside (weather permitting).  When your sister comes in, asking a question, patiently listen, give her an answer, ask her to leave, and get calmly back to work.  Don't panic and get yourself worked up, just say that life happens, and you're going to use the best of your time that you have been given. 

So remain calm, take care of whatever is causing you to not write, and then get back to your story.


Your brother is practicing his latest drumming routine, and there's no way you can hear yourself think!  So don't write, but find something else WIP-wise to do.  Can you get a few more worldbuilding ideas from Pinterest?  Maybe go do a chore and try to imagine yourself as the MC (or another character) and get in his/her head a little bit more?  If you simply cannot find the ability to write because of what's going on at the moment, then accept it, and find something else to do.

BUT you must be careful not to do this every time, and get stuck in the endless "browse the internet instead of writing every time I sit down" loophole.  If the only time you have to write is during a siblings band practice, then you better learn how to deal with the noise!!  Remember, if you really want to get this draft finished, you better be prepared to write when things are hard.

Hopefully that was helpful, and encourages you to keep writing, no matter what's going on around you.  Does anyone else have any tips for writing with distractions?  Are you enjoying the series?