Not Squirrels–Things We Call Distractions, But Really Aren’t

A few weeks ago, we talked about my dog Reese who loves squirrels. I compared her obsessive focus on the furry beasts to a writer’s tendency to chase “squirrels” when he should be writing.

You can find that post here!

Eliana's graphic
My sweet friend, Eliana, made this graphic for me! Isn’t it gorgeous?


Today I’d like to address another problem that has come up in my own life. That is the subject of “not-squirrels” or things we think are distractions but actually aren’t.


God and Church

Do you know how tempting it is to skip or shorten your devotional time so you can go write? This particularly becomes a problem on busy days. It won’t really hurt anything if we skip it for just one day, right?

But church, quiet time/devotions, prayer, worship, etc. are NOT distractions for writing. Your faith is a million times more important than writing.

In the end, how much you’ve written won’t matter. Your faith will.

The happiness you find when writing is nothing compared to the joy you have in salvation in Christ. Don’t take it for granted.



Whether you’re in college, private school, homeschool, or public school, it’s very easy to see doing homework as a waste of time.

While we see benefit to literature and English classes—they directly influence our writing—other subjects, such as math, science, government, economics, history, and music don’t seem to be very helpful.

“How will knowing how to find the log of 15 help me with life? What do I care if Joan has a savings account with 1.2% interest compounded annually? Who cares?” That was my attitude towards math.

Even if there are subjects you hate, you still have to do them. Don’t slack on school so you can write.

This is coming from a master procrastinator. Since I was homeschooled, my mom made my writing part of my assignments. So I’d spend all morning writing then I’d be stuck with an afternoon (and early evening) of economics, Spanish, science, and all the other things I didn’t want to work on.

Yes, writing is important, but if you are a student, your school needs to come first.



Spending time with your family is—guess what—more important than writing in the long run. You’ll be around these people for most, if not all, of your life. The relationships you have with them truly matter.

Take opportunities to hang out—watch movies, play games, go on a day trip. These life experiences actually will strengthen your writing.


Don’t mark these things off as “squirrels.” Because they are not-squirrels. These things matter. Don’t take them for granted or view them as burdens. They will shape and form you as a person and as a writer.



Oliver’s Travels!

Oliver and Allison
Oliver joined me at another band concert a few weeks ago! He’s not big enough to play any instruments, so he just sings along.


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