You know how it is: one minute your doing research for a short story, reading articles and watching YouTube videos about the sordid history of televangelism, and the next you're whisked away on Willy Wonka's nightmare barge of click-bait recommended videos.

I swear I've once looked up a recipe for fried rice and wound up learning more than I care to know about the Illuminati connection to Mormonism and the supposed mating habits of reptilian aliens from the Pleiades. But hey...I made some good fried rice.

It's easy to be distracted by things in life. If you're naturally curious like me, which I suspect most writers are, you'll find no end to the branching meanderings your mind can take. This can be a good thing, actually. The worst thing you can do to a reader is bore them. And the only sure-fire way of knowing if you're boring a reader is if you are bored while you're writing. You want to have some excitement in your keystrokes, the focus of getting the story out, describing that bit of visual pseudo-memory locked in your head. If you are just going through the motions to 'get to the end', your reader will pick up on that and have the same attitude. 'Just get on with it' is not something you want people to say halfway through your piece.

Writer's Block doesn't exist. Writer's Boredom does. You should have multiple projects going at a time to help keep things fresh. Get bored with writing Chapter 12 of The Great Gildersneeze? Put it aside and work on page 3 of The Man Who Would Be Haberdasher. Or, just let yourself be distracted and watch a movie or play a game or read (someone else's) book. Go out to dinner, play with your incredibly annoying barnacle-like 3-year old wonderful little daughter and have some fun. Make bread (then eat it!). Go shopping. Do chores so your house doesn't look like mine.

Just remember to keep your eyes on the end of the tunnel and come back to your work once you've had a break. You'll eventually get into a sort of cyclical habit where you write and not write, but are always thinking about your writing. Knots in your plots will be unraveled as you daydream. I once worked out a particularly tricky section of dialogue while mowing my lawn. Of course, the neighbors may think you're odd when you start talking to yourself as you prune the roses. But hey, would you want to be friends with someone who was okay with you carrying on conversations with no one?

Don't be guilt-ridden by distraction. Let yourself have some line, just don't swim half an ocean away from the boat.

Have a great week everyone!