How do you guys deal with distractions while writing? These past few weeks I am getting so much distractions while writing. Sometimes I will go check my social media on phone, watch a video, read a sappy story or start scrolling through the threats here. I waste so much time doing this? What do you guys do to get over the distractions?
I tried turning off the internet, but when you know it is one click away to go back then it is hard. Talk some sense into me Please great people. I wont be offended even if you are a bit harsh.
Being distracted when writing is really hard to get out of because there’s way too many things you can get distracted from. However, there’s a few ways you can continue writing without the distractions.
Turn off the internet.
So, like you said, turning off the internet can help. But instead of doing it from your laptop, unplug it at home. Well, that is if no one else is using it. xD
Go somewhere where there is no internet.
If you live near a park or a restaurant/coffee shop, you can go there to write. Sometimes, being somewhere else other than your house or a place without internet can save you from those distractions.
Use a reward and punishment system.
Another way you can stay on track is to give yourself a small word count goal (like 100-300 words) per session. If you achieve that goal, you can give yourself a reward by watching two videos or looking on Wattpad for 20 minutes. If you aren’t successful, you have to punish yourself by not watching YouTube or Wattpad or anything else as if you’re grounded from it.
If you’re on Word, use the “Focus” feature.
Not all software have this feature, but on Word specifically, there’s this little button at the right hand corner of the bottom that says “Focus.” It’s right next to the “read mode” pages. If have it and press on it, the entire document becomes full screen so you don’t see the internet browser or anything else. All you say is the page you’re writing.
Put your phone in another room.
So, I’ve been watching a lot of Kate Cavanaugh videos on her writing process and writing experiments, and in one video where she writes like Stephen King for a day…
…there’s a part where she says that Stephen draws the curtain if there’s a window (so you’re not constantly looking outside) and where she keeps her phone in another room so there’s less distractions. I honestly agree with this because your phone can easily be a distraction just as much as the internet is due to all the social media. Most people check social media on their phone (Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook). So it’s common sense to leave it elsewhere where you don’t see it and don’t hear the notifications. It’s like that saying that goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.”
Simply force yourself.
And finally, the only other way to stop yourself from getting distracted is to force yourself not to get distracted. This is mainly how I’ve learned not to be distracted because I’ve disciplined myself in saying, “Once the manuscript is on the screen, it’s time for work.” While I don’t write to get paid (though I’d love to one day haha), I have the mentality of saying “no” because I want to get the story done. The more I write and focus on my project, the faster the story will be finished. At the end of the day, you’re the one who’s responsible and the blame for getting distracted.
Personally, I find these distractions are a good thing, and actually a part of the writing process.
I can’t just sit down and concentrate on writing for hours on end. I need constant, regular interruptions. I know that might sound crazy, but it’s just how my brain works. Each time I have an interruption like that, I come back to my work with a fresh pair of eyes, and see important things that I was previously missing.
Also - my most important writing work does not even happen when I’m writing. When I go for a run, or I’m at the gym, my mind is often going over a tricky problem without me even realizing, and the solution just pops into my head.
So my advice is to embrace the distractions and don’t be so hard on yourself
I know exactly what you mean, literally can take days for like a paragraph and tbh it can depend on your mood. Sometimes listening to music helps or other times I go for a small walk, play a game, watch a movie. Any small thing can give you inspiration, even talking with a friend or a stranger. Where ever I go I carry a small notebook with me and when an idea pops into my head about a story, I write it down, and at the end of the day or week I look over it and see what will be helpful. Just remember that no idea is stupid just write it down and it will help a lot when going to write. Well I hope it will help you, it helps me tons.
That’s a really good idea about a notebook. Sometimes while and doing something else, I solve problems to do with my writing and then forget all about it. So I’ve got into the habit of writing all my ideas down straight away in the Notes app on my iPhone, and then checking it at the start of every writing session to remind myself.
Thanks for the welcome! And I completely agreed with embracing the distractions they can be very useful at times and I just can’t find myself to write without multiple one. I don’t even think its possible to just sit and write lol but at the end of the day we do what we must to get a chapter or two done. But it doesn’t mean I dont like those days where I have so much inspiration that I can write like 2-3 long chapters!!!
The worst part about writing while distracted is that those distractions get internalized into your mind, even when you do have time to write. You just don’t have enough mental space in your head to focus on your writing, and that’s the worst part. Hence, short walks or showers or meditations are a good way to get your mind off of those distractions (at least for a while) and clear your thoughts and get your focus back. The trick is to maintain that focus, b/c focus breeds discipline, and you can’t get either of these without clearing your thoughts of mental clutter.
I totally agree, I feel like my brain is working faster then the speed of light and I just easily get bored and love to procrastinate so im like a pro at finding distractions lol but it’s definitely hard to maintain focus but not impossible!!
Guilt. I think about my characters and how they will forever be where they are if I dont go back to them…(one of them really has a crappy life and zero selfesteem and as the story goes along those aspects improve…if i dont write…well…hello darkness).