All Talk, No Traction

red typewriter with paper in carriage

31 Days of 5-Minute Free-Writes

Day 13: Talk

It’s Day 13 of my baby-book shower for Reflections of a Mother’s Heart. Gather your chairs in a circle, for it’s time to talk about why there has been no action—or in all fairness, why the action has stalled. I’m going to join you in the circle on this one, and let someone else do the talking, for I need to hear this more than you do.

So, why has the action stalled? In a word: Distractions.

Let’s look at the word distraction for a minute.

Distraction = noun. a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else

Granted, most of us here are not full-time writers. We don’t have the luxury of devoting 100% of our time to our book, blog, or whatever it is we are working on. But whatever time we have budgeted for it often gets cheated because of distractions.

If we look at the etymology of this word, we see it is made up of the prefix dis- and the root -traction.

dis- = not, none, apart, asunder, away, utterly (you get the point)

traction = the extent to which a product, idea, etc., gains popularity or acceptance; the action of drawing or pulling something over a surface

When you and I as writers allow ourselves to become distracted from our work, then we risk losing control of it: the momentum, the direction, the focus, the energy, and even the popularity and acceptance. This is true not only in writing, but in many other situations as well. This is why so many college drop-outs never finish. They lose traction. This is why so many blogs goes months or years between fresh posts. And this is why so many manuscripts sit on the shelf and collect dust, or take up storage space on a hard drive, when they could be making a difference in the world—even if only a small difference. We will never know what difference we may make if we let distraction keep us from action. If all we do is talk about our baby, but cease to push, the baby may die in the birth canal. I know it’s not possible in a real birth. Your body is going to push whether you want to or not. But you have no such forces driving your writing—unless, of course, you have a publisher setting deadlines. But for you indie writers, it must be a deliberate effort, or it will not happen.

Talk is good, but it’s time to “dis” the distraction.


Kate Motaung, host of Five-Minute Friday, has challenged us to 31 Days of Five-Minute Free Writes, in which we will explore the telling of our story. This isn’t the first such challenge of hers, but it is the first for me. Thank you for sharing it with me.

For a list of links to all my posts for this challenge, click here.

¹Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, part of the Deluxe Library Version 8.1 of StudyLamp Software: Broken Arrow, OK, 1995-2017.

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