Being Creative and Dealing with Distractions: Children

Some creatives must have uninterrupted time to be productive. They need the time, or else they can’t get anything done. Their process has been described as pushing a boulder up an icy hill. Near the top of the mountain, the slope shallows. It is at this point where they are the most productive. The longer the creative stays here, the farther along with the project they get. But the time it took for them to get there takes time, which is subjective to the creative.

On a typical day, the creative spends hours in the productive zone, where they only stop when exhaustion takes hold. At that point, they slid back down to the start, where the next day, they start again.

However, on a non-ideal day, one of the pitfalls that a creative need to navigate is distractions, usually by little non-furry creatures. Every time those little beings bug them, they lose focus and end up sliding back down the hill. This restarts the process and can stall the entire day.

This is a problem with me. I have two kids who tend to be distracting and want my attention. They are kids, after all. They get hungry, tired, cranky, and want to spend time with me. I understand there need.

But how do I get things done? I wrote over 527k words last year, and I plan to write over 600k words this year. So far, I’m on track to make my goals.

Five Methods to Keep Distractions at Bay.

  1. Significant other.
  2. Easy distractions.
  3. Wake up early/ stay up late.
  4. Write around their schedule.
  5. Train self to work with distractions.

Significant Other

One way to keep on task is to have a blocker. Setting up a set amount of time to get the work done and having the significant other to handle the walking distractions. This works if you have someone willing to help you with that task. Not everyone has someone ready to help or available to help.

Easy Distractions

This gets easier as the kids get older. Books, TV, computers. They are all critical ways to distract the kids with something to get some words done. Plug in a two-hour movie with some popcorn and then get to work. Getting the distractions understanding that they need to leave you alone is the cornerstone of the method. Having an easy access bin of snacks for them to munch on is also helpful, though be prepared for mess and overeating of the snacks.

Wake up Early/ Stay up Late

This one takes some sacrifice of the well-deserved sleep. This means to get up an hour earlier while the distractions are sleeping to get a few hours of work done. Or, for those night owls, it means to stay up late and get the work done in the twilight hours. This still means a sacrifice of sleep, but every hour helps. Sacrificing time watching Netflix or the lunch break at work is another time to use.

Write around their Schedule

School, dance lessons, swimming lessons. The longer, the better. This means spending money in terms of dance lessons, etc. If they’re in school, this is 6 hours of free time. Keep this time safe, and don’t let anything steal this time. If there is money in the budget for some type of lessons, use this time to get some words done. Dance lessons are an hour in length, which is a large block of undistracted time.

Train Self to Work with Distractions

The stereotype of having the perfectly clean creative space and the hours of no distractions isn’t available for everyone. My writing space is in the living room. I can’t just shut the door and block out everyone. My significant other does have her own tasks to do. This means that I have had no choice to learn how to get productive once more distraction one and distraction two are whining. This is hard and doesn’t always work, but it’s the best long term solution.

This journey is not something I can do alone. It takes support from many people for it to become a reality. The easiest way is to visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. They are available in all countries and for free in Kindle Unlimited. I do have a tip jar set up at Ko-Fe, where you can buy me a coffee. Or you can also visit me on Facebook. Your help and support are much appreciated.

The Adventures of Evana Sweetland

As you may be aware that I have been writing a middle-grade fiction novel with my 5-year-old daughter. It was her ideas that I write and it is her story. I had finished the rough draft during NaNo and now I have finished giving it an edit. I polished it up.

It still needs work. I need to run it through a good text to speech program that’ll allow me to maybe see some things that I didn’t see before.

But the look on my daughters lap when I plopped the printed pages onto her lap. It was priceless. My son read the first couple pages out loud. He is already finding sentences that aren’t clear. I have given him a highlighter.

Until next time. Keep writing.

NaNoWriMo: Update Nov 19, 2017

Well. As of this moment, I am now at 51108 words for NaNoWriMo. But as I have said before, NaNo is worthless to me unless I can get complete projects done.

At the moment I have complete my daughters story, ‘The Adventures of Evana Sweetland.’ And I have finished Book 3 of my sons ‘Space Courier’ story. But my son’s story isn’t finished. It still needs the last book.

Originally we planned to write the story in 5 parts. But as I wrote Book 3, I realized that I had included pieces that I was planning on for book 4. So now, I have gotten rid of book 4, put the parts into either book 3 or book 5 and then called book 5, book 4. Basically, Space Courier is going to be four books.

And I am not done NaNoWriMo. I have ten days to write 22500 to 25000 words for this next book. That means that I must write 2250 to 2500 words per day to complete the book on time. The goal is to have a complete work that I can spend December editing and reworking so that I can have it start being published come January 2018.

So, while others are hanging up there hats and calling it done, I am still plugging away. I am not done yet. Not even close.

NaNo Update Nov 11, 2017

So this year has gone off with a bang.

First I’d like to apologize for the lack of blog posts. I have been distracted by NaNo. It happens. For the first bit, I was writing 3k to 4k words a day. I was on track with my double NaNo goals. Then life happens.

And it happens. One day you are going strong, then the next you have fallen behind. All you can do is to try and catch up when you can. We had ordered some Ikea beds for the kids, and it took 3 hours to build them. Each.

Plus I had to go through my storage bin and find some boxes. It’s all delays. Ie. Life.

And it happens. It is not a bad thing. Cause life does that. No need to get anxious or frustrated by it. And if it weren’t NaNo, there would be no need to try and catch up. It is best not to. It is best not to be stressed by something that is outside of your control. It happens.

My NaNo, it is Nov 11, 2017, and I am at 28k words. I am supposed to be at 36k words by today. But that is only cause I am crazy and I am doing a double NaNo. Typically, I would have to have written 18K words.

So, that means I am a touch behind, but still going strong. I have also finished the first draft of the Evana Story. It is done. Time to move on to Book 3 of my Space Courier story.

Wish me luck.

Until next time.


As you probably tell, my blog site has some changes to it. It has a new home at You see, I am moving forward in my dream of setting up myself as an indie publisher. That means a professional webpage and a professional email address. It was surprisingly easy and inexpensive to set up. It is pretty close to where I want it right now. There is some more content that I want to get on it, but it’ll have to wait.

I do have words to write. The saying that the stories pretty much write themselves is only a saying after all.

I have officially changed my NaNo project this year. It is not one story. It is technically eight. Well, eight if I can pull it off. I plan on writing five 5k stories for my daughter’s story. The Chronicles of Evana Sweetland. It is a set of Early Chapter Books that I am writing for her. It is the same deal that I am doing with my son. Her story, her characters, her plot.

That should put me at the 25k mark. I then have three remaining stories of my son’s Space Courier books to write. I hope to get at least two of those done. each story will run between 22k to 25k. Two stories will put me at the approx. 70k mark. I hope to get the third done too.

As far as I can tell, I am on track to get the first of the books published by the new year.

Until next time.


Update: Writing, life and the family

I know that it has been a bit and my posts have dropped off. I apologize for that. My day job has gone nuts and I have spent a couple weeks doing 10 hr days. The pay will be great. After the greedy governments takes there cut.

Anyways. That has taken a lot of time from my writing and other thing time. I have pushed some things aside so that I have time to think.

I am only working on one writing project a day at the moment. The others will be there once I get more time. I am also wanting to work on the house more. I need to get it done. I am tired of living in reno-land. It is not pretty and there is no cookies. I was promised cookies.

Anyways. The family is going good. My 5 yr old girl is singing and dancing to everything. We have to be careful to what we put on, she will sing to it. Sometimes it is not appropriate.

My 6 yr old son plays piano and now wants to play guitar as well. He also take pictures with a cheap point and shoot camera we got him. He draws pictures and paints things. He is also working on a story series with him.

The one project that I am not going to drop. It is too important. It must be done.

Speaking on the project. It has a new name and the first book will be published in a few weeks. As soon as I get some notes from the editor and the cover art is done.

The new name for the book previously called, ‘Space Courier’ is now called, ‘The Des O’Neal Chronicles‘ It is a planned 6 part series with the first book under the subtitle of ‘The Saboteur Missile Attack‘.

Anyways. I work early in the AM. At an ungodly hour of 6AM. Time for bed.



Ramblings: A story of how I manage to write novels while living with children

So I am a dad. More specifically, I am a father of two. I have a six year old boy named [REDACTED] and a five year old girl named [REDACTED].

My kids are great. I am not sure how it happened, but these kids are nothing like I was as a child. I was the child playing in the mud, ALL the time. I didn’t want to be inside the classroom, I wanted to be outside playing. I had multiple run ins with the Special Needs Teacher because they thought that I had a learning disability. It was just that I didn’t care, I knew the stuff, and I passed all the tests that they threw at me.

What can I say… I wanted to be outside.

My kids, however, love learning. They love doing things that expand their minds. My son, [REDACTED], loves science, math, and reading. He plays the piano and he practices for a couple hours a day. He is in grade one and is currently reading the 2nd book of Harry Bloody Potter. My daughter is a dancer and loves reading and drawing. She is the arty one out of the two of them.

Me? I have been writing for as long as I can remember and  I am pretty prolific. Not to brag…but I have a pretty high word count (more than some writers that I know). I manage the word count by writing whenever that I can. I  don’t have an office… I write my works in the middle of the living room  (which acts more like a study).

Often I find myself writing to the sound of Paw Patrol. (If you are a parent, you know what I am talking about. If you are not. Google is your friend. Watch a bit of it.) Thank God it is not Cailliou.

Now that you know the back story, I can tell you what is going on with my writing.

My son loves watching me write. He’ll sit beside me on the couch and watch me hack away at the words appearing on the screen. Now that he is reading Harry Potter, he is able to read what I am writing.

Word for word.

That makes writing sex scenes a little harder at times…

About 3 months ago, my son approached my with a bundle of printer paper, folded in half and stapled together. He was going to make a book. I encouraged him, and told him to write away. It didn’t last long. He got bored with it. He is six.

A couple weeks later, I caught him sitting on my laptop, on Scrivener trying to open a new project. He still wanted to write a book. He wanted to write with the keys as it looked easier.

He wanted to do what I do. I write novels, so he should too.

At that point I knew that there was nothing that I could do to get him not to write something. That’s not my way as a parent. I don’t believe in putting up road blocks to get my kids not to do something that I may find annoying, but isn’t harmful to anything but my sanity. (Sanity abandoned me on the roadside ages ago. It went on strike due to poor working conditions.)

And having [REDACTED] work on creative pursuits is not harmful in anyway. He isn’t climbing and jumping out of trees. Or eating mud. Or hitting his sister with sticks.

Like I did at his age. (Although, all but the hitting are still good past times)

So there was no way (in good conscience) that I could tell him no. He is too young. Or whatever lame excuse that I could come up with to get him to leave me alone so I can get another thousand words down.

My solution to this problem: Encourage him more. That’s right, I kept encouraging him, The same thing that got him wanting to write a book in the first place.

Now…My son, being six, has the writing skills of a six year old. He is advanced in sentence structure, but not that advanced… He is six…So I decided to do a collaboration with him. I sat him down and we started to brainstorm a story…

He decided the genre.

The setting.

The plot.

He named all of the characters.

All I did was be a guiding hand to keep it somewhat logical. I am the one that does all of the writing, but my son is the one that is in charge of the plot. We are constantly brainstorming ideas.

The book, temporarily named ‘Space Courier’ is now being written as a serial. Each book will be 25k in length, and we plan on 6 books for the first season.

That’s right. He wants multiple seasons.

In conclusion. I have created a monster.

May God have mercy on us all…