Writing: How to keep distractions aside

Right now I am sitting here writing. The sky is dark. The grass outside my sunroom office is curiously green, a brightness I’d expect upon following the yellow brick road into the emerald city. Lightning bursts shatter the monotony of an overwhelmingly humid afternoon. And I’m distracted.

There are several behaviors that create a great writer. But, more, there are exceptional behaviors and practices that manage the difference between a good and great writer. Great writers have the ability to move past personal obstacles such as procrastination and put aside distractions so they can continue and complete books.

Did you know, that when asked, “What has prevented you from writing a book?” the most common response is, “having the motivation to finish it.” There is a difference in writing between adequate, good, and great writers. But, more, there is a difference in the ability to complete. Great writers are great because they continue to plug away. When others give up, great writers persevere.

Today, I’d like to share a simple, yet effective tool to help you focus on your writing and avoid distractions. Admitedly, I don’t use this tool consistently. I pull it out – my big guns – only when needed. That means I pull this tool out when I can’t focus, when I am jumping down the rabbit hole of Google, or when the thought suddenly arises, how do I build a grass tennis court?

So, how do I manage my distraction? With a notebook and pen.

Yep, you read that right. My only tool to manage distraction is a writer’s go to. In my early twenties I realized that my mind was everywhere. I couldn’t focus on anything. Some people call it multi-tasking. I called it multi-tasking. But, then, I was reading a book and the author mentioned that there is no such thing as multi-tasking. You may be able to move different parts of your body at the same time, but the reality is that you are never multi-tasking. You can only do one thing at a time. What people call multi-tasking is doing many things, one at a time, in a short period of time. For example: Writing your book, you answer a ringing phone and talk for a minute, then your kids walk in and ask you to make a snack, then you sit back down to write, then you text your friend. That is six things, but not multi-tasking. For each of those things you started, stopped, and started something else. This is what most people mistakenly call multi-tasking and its highly inefficient.

My worktime is important to me. If I am not working then I am not making money. I don’t have a company who will pay me regardless of what I’m doing. So, when I sit down for four hours, I better be working during those four hours. That’s where my distraction notebook comes in.

As I’m writing, anytime I feel distracted, want to look up a random fact, or are thinking about a conversation I flubbed, I turn to my notebook and write a quick note down to come back to that thought when I am done writing. Then, when I am done with work, sitting in front of the TV, or just putsing around the house I go through my notebook to see what I want to look up. More often than not, those overwhelming questions I had don’t matter in the least. I have no interest in looking up the answers when I’m done writing.

This is a simple, yet effective tool to keep yourself focused on the task at hand. It’s not rocket science, but it does work.

How do you keep yourself focused when writing? I’d love to hear it in the comments below. And please follow my blog, like and comment. If you are a lover of fantasy, please check out the books below and don’t forget to leave a review!

Free Character Template for Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction

I love templates and tools to help organize writing. The link below is for a nice character template for fantasy and sci-fi writers.

I enjoy writing and curating writing resources for fantasy writers. Like, comment and follow if you enjoy this and other articles.

It can be a little challenging, when coming up with characters for your new fantasy or science fiction book, to know where to begin. That’s why I’ve …

Free Character Template for Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction

Birth of the Drajeen, fantasy novel, Free on Kindle April 7 – April 11

birth-of-the-drajeen-cover-kindleLovers of fantasy join us on a journey into the Blue Star Series my second book of the series, Birth of the Drajeen.

I am excited to join our free book campaign. Birth of the Drajeen will be available free on Kindle from April 7 to April 11, 2020. As with all of my books, I also offer my books free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

“An asteroid has forced an exodus of ill-stricken Drjeen into quarantine within the Cavern of the Ancients. Amidst descension in ranks, deceit, and survival these Drjeen emerge from the cavern more peaceful, yet bound with more strength than ever before. But, as they escape the Cavern of the Ancients are their new beliefs and powers strong enough to survive on a fractured surface-world now alien to them? Follow Shakja, Shook, Princess Amanna, and Aput as they try to keep their ranks united while fending off an old enemy.”

As with all books offered for free (or even paid for) author’s love reviews. So, after reading Birth of the Drajeen please take the time to leave an Amazon review. If you would like to purchase, Fall of the Drjeen, the first book in the series, you can purchase it here!

If you have questions for me or would like a signed copy of one of my books you can contact Sarah Cathey here.