A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.

No such thing as a real writing distraction … by Bryony Pearce

Being a writer can be a solitary job and yet at the same time, writers can be such avid students of human nature, that, perhaps more than others we are easily distracted by social media.

I can spend hours, on Facebook in particular; catching up with friends, networking with the publishing community and keeping apprised of what is going on in the world. With the news cycle the way it is at present, car-crash viewing, I often find that Facebook is the first place I hear about things.

But social media isn’t my only writing distraction and while I’m the first to admit, that I am easily led by click bait (I wonder what 15 interesting things I can find out about The Princess Bride), or a bit of online shopping (are those shoes really only £20?), I wouldn’t turn off my Internet connection as others might.

I am a research nut and perhaps my greatest writing distraction is when I get dragged down the rabbit hole. I might start out doing a quick check on the most common wildlife in the Shetland Islands, to make sure my characters don’t spot a bird or a flower that would never be seen in that area, then I’ve followed a fascinating side note about the iron age broch just unearthed and end up happily reading about Stone Age burial rituals, or human sacrifice in Aztec Mexico. Before I know it, it’s time to pick up the kids.


I have to remind myself to stick to the facts I need.

But then, I’m a writer and I need to get my ideas from somewhere. If my brain has snagged on something interesting, that could be my next book.

If I spend time on social media I’m learning how people react to world events, what they consider important, how they think about things, how they speak, the tone they take, the slang they’re using. Instagram and Twitter show me what teens are interested in, what’s hot among the groups I’m writing for. If I follow click bait, I’m finding out what other people consider interesting. If I follow a lead while doing research I’m filling up my repository of ‘story ingredients’ ready for the blender in my mind to start mixing.

Yes, I can be distracted from my word count, but I’m always working, always being a writer. And distractions can turn into the best writing possible.

I can’t excuse the online shopping though …

About bryonypearce

I am a writer. My first book, Angel's Fury was published by Egmont in July 2011. My second book, The Weight of Souls, by Strange Chemistry in August 2013. Phoenix Rising and Phoenix Burning by Stripes, Wavefunction by Telos and Windrunner's Daughter by Xist in 2016. I have short stories in two anthologies. More information on my website

5 comments on “No such thing as a real writing distraction … by Bryony Pearce

  1. sabrinawrites1
    January 25, 2017

    Yes being in control of your writing time is super duper important to getting that end result, I sort of give myself an allocated time to do the social media thing then I switch everything off but the word processor, and try to wheedle something out.

  2. dansmithsbooks
    January 25, 2017

    The Princess Bride? Great film/book. What 15 things did you find out . . ?

  3. bridgeanneartandwriting
    January 25, 2017

    I think that’s a great post – you’re right. Social media can be a distraction but it can also be so fascinating and helpful.

  4. Bass Pro Shops free shipping
    February 13, 2017

    Gaga, I looked at this issue, in addition to had been struggling to duplicate the item. After you were being mailing typically the photography, have been an individual capable of look at picture within your message? William

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on January 25, 2017 by .

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,314 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 199,576 hits
%d bloggers like this: