OK, where was I with this story? I’m kinda hungry. Do I need more coffee? I wonder what is going on this weekend. Maybe I should read a few articles for inspiration. I should do a couple hours of research on alchemy to see if it’s helpful to my plot. Music will get the juices flowing. Should I feed my cat? Dog probably needs to go out, too.
We’ve all had those moments where we push everything aside, lock ourselves away to write in solitude, and just get sidetracked with every tiny task in our lives that have all decided to show themselves at that very moment you are ready to write. We pull up our word processing tool, crack our fingers, and daze off into the ether and think about everything else but getting that next word down.
As a writer, your mission is to deflect all of those requests. They are false signals firing off in your brain. Just say, not today. Later, maybe. But not right now. Now is writing time and nothing else is going to get in the way of that. Whether you write fifteen minutes or three hours, it’s a win. But it’s easier said than done, I know.
From my writing experience, below are the most helpful tools to get you laser-focused on your writing and nothing else. Although I’m sure that you can find a distraction anyway, be persistent. Writers love a good challenge!
A great, lightweight task manager for all of your to-do’s and to-don’ts. Deflect a lot of those creative ideas that stop you from writing that next word in your work-in-progress by sidetracking them in a to-do list. Or keep a running tab on your submission plans with a simple checklist.
Introduce some discipline to your writing time by blocking any and all “distracting websites, games, and applications.” This will prevent you from loading up Reddit threads or getting into a Facebook debate about politics with a relative of yours. Trust us, it’s for the better.
Set the right ambient mood for you to be creative. Do campfire sounds remind you of the good old days you’re writing about? Is your current scene a thunderstorm or down-pouring rain? Listen to the sounds that you’re looking to reflect on the page while writing it.
Squibbler’s The Most Dangerous Writing App is not a joke. If you stop writing with it, all progress will be lost. This is a super helpful tool if you are constantly going back to your first chapter, rewriting, revisiting, or re-tweaking old sentences. Cut it out! Move forward with your story until you get to the end before looking back at what you’ve written.
National Novel Writing Month challenges writers every November to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days. Can you do it? I can’t say I’ve ever hit the goal, but it sure makes you write more and create a daily quota of words. Don’t think anything good could come out of writing so quickly? Here are 8 best-selling books that were written during NanoWriMo.