General

How To Keep Yourself Focused When Writing

Most of us have to battle distractions once in a while. My father for instance, is always worried that he won’t meet the deadline for his work, and yet, right now I can hear the sound of the spider solitaire he’s playing. No matter how much work he has, he can’t help it and he falls into temptation.

I have also been victim of this several times. Back in college I was full time student and with a part time job; my schedule was extremely tight, and yet many times, with projects due the next day and work to turn in afterwards, I would go drink some beer with my friends or spend the whole night playing Halo 3 at a party.

Writing is something most of us have to do to present our work to others, but there are endless distractions that come our way and prevent us from working. The good news is that you are not alone; there are several steps you can take in order to minimize your distractions and have a fruitful writing.

The first thing you need to have when you’re staring at your blank Word document is a deadline. It can be a deadline imposed by your boss, teacher or by yourself, it doesn’t really matter, but having a deadline is one of the best forms of motivation there is to get you started. Another thing that could help you is to start to make lists.

A list can speed up your creative process as a writer because you can make your thoughts flow better; make lists about different settings, characters, plot twists, back stories, or whatever you need to help you get started, but remember to only spend a certain amount of time doing this, otherwise you can carry on and waste useful time.

One great tip is to tell others about your project because it produces some sort of peer pressure. Go and tell your friends and family about the book, novel, or whatever you are writing and you will be asked for sure about it. They’ll be asking you: how’s your project going?, when are you going to finish?, what have you done so far? And many questions like this. This acts like an extra incentive since it is embarrassing to admit that you haven’t done any progress because you’ve been watching TV all day.

Try to keep yourself fresh. If you get stuck along the way then try to change your settings; take your laptop to your yard, or the nearest coffee shop, or anywhere you feel comfortable. This can relieve you and make your ideas flow better. Taking a break is an alternative equally useful. Go watch TV for ten minutes, take a shower or go take a walk; you will be impressed with the results.