Posted in Mini-Lessons, Writing Advice

Got Distractions?

Unless you are very, very lucky, you probably won’t be able to write full time in a quiet, tranquil space. Instead, you will have a TV blaring in the background, kids running through the house, dogs barking, neighbors shooting fireworks, and just about anything else you can imagine.

So how do you manage to write good prose with all of those distractions?

The simple answer?

You just do it.

You do it because you are a writer. You do it because you love writing. You do it because you know that it is your dream and dreams take work.

But, there are some tips and tricks that might make distractions a little less difficult.


Music

Many writers swear by a playlist. Creating a list of songs that match the theme of the narrative will help put the writer in the “zone” of the book pretty quickly.

However, some writers (like me) cannot listen to music while writing. I will write the words in the songs rather than writing what I am supposed to be writing.

Technology

Some writers I know write on their breaks at work, during their commute (not while driving, of course!), and even in the bathroom!

How is this possible?

Technology.

If you have a smart phone, you can generally write pretty easily. I often use voice dictation on my iPhone to take notes and write short scenes for my writing, blog posts, or reviews. There are several great cloud services that you can use for free such as Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive, and those services sync across all of your devices, so you always have the most recent version of your work, at least as long as you have WiFi.

Midnight Oil

Other writers get up early or stay up late and write while everyone else is sleeping. Those who need quiet and few distractions will probably benefit most from this method, as long as they can stay off the internet for a while. Often, a writer can get a lot more done in one focused hour than two or three unfocused hours.

The key is to know yourself. If you need solitude to write, find it, even if it isn’t the most convenient.

Disconnect

There is one major distraction that many writers can avoid quite easily: the internet.

Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc. are all great tools for writers, but once they stop being tools and start becoming things the writer is dependent on for procrastination, they have become problems. Turn off the internet, write full-screen (programs like Scrivener have excellent options for this), and turn off your email notifications.

Give yourself a little time to “unplug” and focus only on the task at hand.


In essence, writing is much like walking a tightrope: it requires balance, concentration, and dedication.

Ignore the roaring crowd and write your book!

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