Writing through distractions

focus on the art that needs to come forth, you can do it!

Every writer I know, heck, every human I know generally has a lot going on. It’s overwhelming and impressive, when you sit and unpack how capable and effective some people can be, even when they are juggling a million and one responsibilities. Personally, I have found that I perform really well when I have more than a few things on my plate. I have found I can tap into a state of “positive pressure” – I think, “I have to do this well, now and quickly, so I can move on to something else. I need to do it well because I don’t have time to go over or second guess myself, there’s too much to be done.”

Somehow the awareness that I have limited time and energy for one thing allows me to commit completely to that task before I drag myself away to a new thing. I think I first discovered this mode during High School (I went to a very competitive HS, Walnut Hills), and then in college and grad school (finals season will show you who you are if you let it).

So when it came to writing my novel, I knew I had to dig deep and switch into that mode of getting it done as best as I could, however I could. If I was able to find a good chunk of time when I could go to the library and write, I would hold that time precious and drop everything to fulfill my writing goals. But, distractions are real, and they would pop up and sometimes make me cancel my writing date, or interrupt me just when I’m getting into a flow. I found I would have to forgive myself, and the universe, and flexibly rearrange my energies till I could write once again.

The important thing to remember is that ‘the Flow’ is always there, waiting for you. So even if I was taken out of my Flow by a phone call or seeing a friend or an email, I would just console myself back into the writing and know it was coming out, even through the distractions of a busy life.

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Yodassa Williams is a powerful conjurer of black girl magic (70% Jedi, 30% Sith). A Jamaican American writer, speaker, and award winning performing storyteller, alumna of the VONA/Voices Travel Writing program and creator of the podcast ‘The Black Girl Magic Files’, Yodassa (Yoda) launched ‘Writers Emerging' in 2019, a wilderness writing retreat for women of color and non-binary people of color. In 2020, Yodassa's debut YA Fantasy, The Goddess Twins, will be published by Spark Press. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and currently resides in the Bay Area.

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