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  • Writer's pictureLaura L. Zimmerman

Snapchats and piles of laundry

I can totally handle any and all distractions today and will do nothing but write. 

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This is a lie I tell myself every day. Not that I expect to do nothing but write all day, but the fact that I believe I can dodge distraction is just laughable. I’m a distractible person.

I am distractor. I am distractee. I distract. It’s just my life. (No, I don’t know if I have ADD and I don’t wish to find out.)

So, I sit and plan. I make lists and goal sheets, reminders and accountability partners. I try and try and try to get my butt off Facebook, close out my email, turn off the TV and write.

And guess what? It totally doesn’t work. I’m so distracted. Why, for the love, why?

Well my friends, I think I’ve found the answer! It comes in the shape of a little thing called Snapchat. This may not be something you regularly do, but I now have a teenager (OMG when did that happen?!) who thinks taking pictures of herself making weird faces and drawing on them is just Except she has no one to send them to.*Enter mom* So I Snapchat my daughter a few times a day, making goofy faces and thankful they only last 10 seconds each and that no one else will ever see them. (Please God. Say no one will ever see them.)

Then last month my data ran out on my cellular plan.


Whhaaattt? That’s never happened before. So I vowed to be ‘better’ about when I use my 3G and I went on my merry way. And then I got a notification that it’s about to run out. Again. And the month is only 3 days in! (For the love, it’s only 3 days in! How will I survive a month without data?!) What could have changed in the universe to make my data burn through so quickly?

So I Google it, since that seems to be the only way to fix every-God-forsaken-problem-on-earth in the 21st century. And guess what I found out? The most recent update for Snapchat has a glitch where it makes you burn through a bunch more data using the background, as opposed to the foreground. (I totally didn’t even know this was thing until I read it, so don’t ask me what this means.) In the example they gave, a person can use 40 MB of data in the foreground but will use 250 MB in the background. Ack! That’s my problem! 

Even though I wasn’t knowingly using a bunch of data, secretly the minions in my phone were plotting away to make my life hell by burning through every last megasecond of data left in the galaxy. 

And then it hit me. This is exactly like my distracted writing. 

No matter how hard I try to remove distractions so that I can sit quietly and write, there always seems to be something that pulls me away, something I hadn’t planned on or seen coming. I’ve got massive background-data-sucking-distraction going on with my writing and I didn’t even know it! Turning off my Facebook notifications and closing out of my email isn’t enough. Simply hiding the remote control isn’t going to trick my brain from being distracted anymore. The real demons are the little things that lie in wait, until I least expect them, ready to jump out and wrap their spindly claws around my brain and pull me away. (Ok, ok. I can be a little overly dramatic.) Things like: that pile of laundry that’s been waiting to be put away for 3 days; the checkbook that’s been sitting for a week waiting to be balanced; the scary closet (that most certainly has the monster from ‘Alien’ hiding inside), that just isn’t going to clean itself. It’s these things that distract me. These things that grab me on my way to my writing hole and echo in my mind ‘it will only take ten minutes’ (L.I.E!) until all the time in the universe has been squelched. Eaten up. Nada.

What’s the fix for Snapchat? A simple click of a button in my settings and my data is safe! What’s the fix for my hidden distractions? I have no idea.

But now I’m aware of them, and knowing is half the battle. (🎶 GI Joe 🎶 Anyone? Anyone at all?) So, I’m hoping I can handle them as they pop up. If I discover any sure-fire ways of dealing with them, I’ll leave a follow-up post. In the meantime, feel free to leave your comments on how you handle those background-distractions that sneak up on you!

As always, happy reading, friends!

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