The biggest challenge I face with my writing is trying to stay focused. Despite my best efforts, I am usually dragged out of my writing zone and have a difficult time getting back in. Of course, the more I write and get distracted, the more I realize what distracts me, and how to start avoiding it. Based on that, I have comprised a list of things to do (or not to do) to get into the ‘writing zone.’ This will help with distractions and get your writing back on track.
- Set Goals. I can’t stress the importance of this. Having goals is key. I’ve found writing my goals down really helps. Whenever I get distracted, I read my goals and am reminded of what I am trying to do and why.
- Blocking out time. This is a must! Set aside time specifically for writing, and make sure to write during that time.
- NO email. Despite my better judgment, email always takes me off track. It is the most disruptive thing to my writing. My word of advice: do not think about email and do not check email until your writing is done for the day.
- Turn off your phone. Take your phone off the hook, and shut off your cell. There is nothing worse than having that irritating ringing disrupt what could have been one of the greatest sentences crafted from the English language.
- Shut down the Internet. Avoid Facebook, Myspace, and any other time-wasting website. Better yet, unplug your network connection altogether and concentrate on the written word. By eliminating the temptation to surf the web, you will be forced to write.
- Close the door. If you can, shut the door to your office and hang a “Do not disturb” sign on the knob. If you don’t have the luxury of your own ‘writing space,’ find somewhere private to write, or leave the house altogether for some inspiration. You can also read my advice for finding a writing space, in my blog, A Writer\’s Space: Making Room to Write.
- Put on some music. Music can be very relaxing and helps stimulate brainwaves. Put some classical or ambient music on. Not only does this help you focus, it also drowns out background noise and gets creativity flowing.
So once you’re ready to go, sit down, and write on!
Until next time…
The Accidental Blogger