Sunday, 5 October 2014

Managing the Online Distractions: A guest post by author Kevin Morris

Linzé: It has been a while since we had a guest post about Time Management on the Broomstick, so it is my pleasure to welcome my online friend, Kevin Morris to the Broomstick today. His post is about that one thing that seem to drive us all to distraction, the internet. Thank you, Kevin!

I have happy childhood memories of browsing through books in the school library. On finding something of interest I would take a seat and read, undisturbed for hours. In those bygone days the only interruption likely to disturb my reading was the entry of a fellow pupil or teacher.
Kevin and his guide dog Trigger, being kept company
by their friend Brian
Today, as a writer I am faced by a myriad distractions. The beeping of texts arriving, the sound of another email landing in my inbox, all of these serve to distract me from my work. It is extremely tempting to respond to that text or check the email sitting unopened in my inbox.
To avoid wasting time by giving in to such distractions my mobile is turned off and email programs closed, all of which helps me to concentrate on the matter in hand, writing!
It is frequently remarked that the successful author needs to engage via social media with potential readers. This entails utilising blogs, Twitter and other forms of communication. I agree that blogging and other types of social media are a wonderful way of building up and cementing a following. However your blog or other communication tools can, if not kept in check become an end in themselves, rather than a means to an end. It is incredibly easy to spend hours blogging or reading other people’s blogs and before you know it half the day is gone with not a single word of that novel or short story having been written.
I confine blogging to specific times and my writing of fiction to a designated slot so as to avoid the above difficulties. I have seen it argued that writers should not use the internet while writing so as to avoid the distractions of the online world. I, personally do use Google while writing but only to ascertain the correct spelling of words, word definitions or other details of direct relevance to my writing. I don’t own a dictionary, consequently online works of reference are essential to me.
I work full time and write during the evenings or at weekends. On returning from work I am frequently tired, consequently the time spent writing is limited (balancing a full time occupation with being a writer is by no means easy)!

As I said at the beginning of this piece, the world of my boyhood offered far fewer distractions than today’s technologically advanced society. In some ways the past was, I feel sure an easier time to be a writer, free as it was of the distractions of mobiles, emails and other interruptions. However technology should be a servant rather
than a master. We can turn it off and in so doing greatly enhance our productivity both as writers and in other fields.

Author Bio
Kevin Morris was born and brought up in the city of Liverpool. Having obtained a BA in history and politics he went on to gain an MA in political theory.
Kevin has lived and worked in London since 1994. He has a full time job and writes during his spare time.  Kevin has produced 4 collections of short stories together with 1 longer work, Samantha.
Kevin shares his home in Crystal palace with Trigger, a lab/retriever guide dog. Being blind Kevin uses Jaws (software which converts text into speech and Braille) to write using a standard Windows 7 computer.

Connect with Kevin online
Kevin’s blog - http://newauthoronline.com/
Kevin’s Amazon US author page 
Kevin’s Amazon UK author page
Twitter - https://twitter.com/drewdog2060_