For me, as a writer, I sometimes struggle with writing under pressure or writing through distractions. It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s just that, well, it’s hard. My ideal writing space is a place that has some background noise but not too much and also allows me to play some quiet music. The reality, however, is that you rarely, if ever, get to write in optimal conditions. Time and deadlines don’t allow it. As an example, I wrote this post 30,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean on an airplane amid a crying Spanish baby and another toddler who refused to sit still and instead, ran up and down the aisles… Go figure.

In times like these, it’s the ability to focus that helps get the job done, that and a good pair of headphones. I find that a little music helps buffer the outside world and allows me to concentrate on completing my story. The music gives me something else to listen to so that the screaming and crying and general airplane noise isn’t so pressing.

At this point, the baby was now being changed in the seat in front of me… That added a new olfactory dimension to my distractions.

So, how do writers do it? How do we push through the miasma of distraction to complete work on tight deadlines? I think you just learn to cope. You teach yourself to get in the writing zone quicker so that the story isn’t lost in the background noise of your surroundings. You learn to ignore the flashing signal telling you your laptop battery power is less than 10 percent. I also think having fully formed ideas helps ease the process.

Writers are creatures of habit, and disturbances of those habits can cause issues. However, I like to challenge myself from time to time. I want to know that given some outrageous conditions, I can get the job done. Plus, it makes for some great stories later. Who wouldn’t want to brag about writing a blog post on an airplane with screaming babies and less than 10… less than 5 percent battery power?

The running toddler just stepped on my foot as he went careening by. That’s it, I may have to punch a baby!

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