Diversions are such occurrences, either created intentionally or encountered by accident, that sidetrack and/or otherwise delay completion of the task at hand.
Distractions are of a smaller scale, although sometimes a distraction can grow to become a full on diversion.
Really, I'm just talking out of my ass right now. I haven't actually looked up any definitions for either of these words (definition being another word that starts with the letter 'd'), so feel free to disagree with my interpretations.
In case you haven't guessed already, today's topic is inspired by my continual need to plow forward on my current project--that being this silly novel I'm trying to write in a month's time. Regarding this, I've checked out a few of the sites floating around the internet where writers talk about writer stuff, to see if anyone really succeeds in this task. I assumed that, like myself, I would find all sorts of folks commiserating on their lack of progress and the feeling that they're churning out nothing but stinky piles of crap, and I would feel okay about being just under where I should be at this point in the game. Instead I find just the opposite. People who have already surpassed the 50k word goal and are working on the sequel to their nano-novel. What? You're going to write a series of books in a month? Plus, some of these people get very offended when it's suggested that what they're writing may not be quite the quality you would find in a work that...well...let's just say some people are convinced that they can write an epic novel in a month and it will come out publishable.
Good for them.
Given this, I can only assume that in these people's lives, they are not plagued with the diversions and distractions I seem to run across every day.
But here's the thing...Isn't that what life is? A series of diversions and distractions to fill the days until you die? I know that sounds pretty fatalistic. But even in the pursuit of higher meaning, aren't you just looking for a way to keep from being bored? I say this with a bit of my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, but still, I can't help but allow that idea to creep in, out, and around my brain from time to time. Is there such a thing as a worthwhile diversion, or a legitimate distraction? Or, when it all comes down to it, is one time-waster just the same as another. If that is true, then maybe it's best to pick a pursuit that truly motivates you and stick to it. You like watching TV? Go for it with all the gusto of Kobe Bryant practicing his jump shot. Do you enjoy crafts? Perfect! Make the most beautiful string of beads or paper mache donkey imaginable. Focus your energy on one thing and one thing only with your goal being sheer perfection. And if that makes sense (and I suppose that's fine if it does), as long as whatever pursuit you obsess over is something that truly inspires you, brings you joy, and positively affects others in the same way, then diversion and distraction lose their negative connotations.
Now perhaps it's just me, but if I try to spread myself around too thin, then the quality of everything I'm doing suffers. I quit writing music to write words. I can't imagine doing both very well at the same time. Maybe some people can, but I can't. That's just me being honest with myself.
Then again, maybe it all comes down to desire. Another "D" word, as is Defeat.