Distractions are the enemy of every writer. Now that we mostly use online devices to create our muses, there is always the temptation to do some unrelated research, shop, check social media or the football results. Before we know it the time to write has passed and no progress has been made. How can we overcome this temptation and become more productive?
The first step is to understand the cause of the problem. Ask if you are really motivated to write and if you know what you want to write. If you are writing something specific, for a commission or to meet a deadline, the chances are that you’ll be focused on that. If the work is speculative then maybe you’re lacking confidence, unsure if anyone will like it and knowing subconsciously that it can wait until tomorrow or the next day. Two years later you’ve done a lot of shopping.
Here are some solutions.
- Write a plan that’s realistic and achievable, with specific deadlines for each section.
- Make sure you know where you are sending the manuscript before you start.
- Join a writing group or forum that requires you to regularly provide material for peer review.
- Imagine you are at work with someone monitoring your progress.
- Turn off the internet and your phone, face your desk away from windows and get typing.