WRITING: How to Combat Distractions

blog distractions

Okay, so we’ve all been there.  You haven’t written a word in a week, you finally force yourself to sit down at your computer, you open your document, you stare at it for a little while and then…something grabs your attention and yanks it away.  Whether it be family, friends, pets, or just about anything on the internet (I’ve been so uninspired by writing before that I started googling how to write good kissing scenes…) you need to learn how to blot out any and all distractions so you can get down to the good stuff: your book.

 

DISCONNECT FROM THE INTERNET.

 

And yes, this is in ALL CAPS.  This is super important, at least for me, because the internet holds so many wonderful things you could seriously spend the rest of your life perusing its many worlds.  “But wait,” you might say.  “What if I need to look something up for a scene I’m writing?”  And yes, this does happen.  Sometimes we need the definition of this word or have to look up how to hijack a car or whatever, but really, how many times do you actually stop writing, look something up, and then continue?  In contrast, how many times do you stop writing to look something up and then get lost in the internet only to find a few hours later you only wrote a few sentences?  Yeah.  So get offline.  I know for me, this is insanely helpful because then there isn’t even that temptation.

 

Create a good writing space.

 

I think writing space is completely underrated.  I know for me, my writing space is hugely important.  Especially when I’m staring at my blank screen, dying a little inside when the words just won’t come, and I suddenly have the urge to clean the entire room, or find some knickknack on my desk that I spend the next ten minutes toying with.  I think writer’s block and then writing in general just brings out the insane side of people.  So combat that with a clean and inspirational workspace.  When I sit down to write for a long time, I make sure my desk is cleaned off, I have paper and pencils in case I want to jot down notes, and my desk is right next to a window so I can look out when I’m contemplating a scene.  When the environment around you is organized and inspiring, your mind will feel the same way.

 

Set aside a time of day when you won’t be bothered.

 

And if you have pesky friends or family who insist on barging in in the middle of inspiration, tell them ahead of time what you’re doing.  Just explain you’ll be holed up in your office or room or wherever for an hour or so and ask them not to bug you.  Also, if you purposely set aside a time, say 5 o’clock, you’re more likely to stick to it, rather than if you just say “sometime today”.

 

Force yourself to write.

 

Although we try hard to get rid of distractions, sometimes we have to admit that we welcome them.  So if you’re having a hard time writing, force yourself to sit down at your computer and write for twenty minutes.  Twenty minutes isn’t that long, right?  Well, I’ll bet by the time you’ve lived through that grueling twenty minutes, you’ll start to get into your writing and then nothing will pull you away.  It’s always the first stretch that’s the hardest, so just keep going.

 

So hopefully this was helpful and good luck with your writing!

 

~ Pauline

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