- Writer Unboxed - https://writerunboxed.com -

Get Rid of all those Distracting Distractions

Hacks for Hacks: Sense of Humor RequiredYou can’t seem to stay on task some days, right? With the Twitter and the Tinder and the Pokemon GO and such, who’s got time to actually sit down and write books? It turns out, you do. Yes, you. The only thing keeping you from writing your bestseller is literally everything good thing in your life that brings you joy. It’s time to buckle down and get serious. It’s time to tune out the noise. I’ll show you how.

Turn off the Internet

Shakespeare and Hemingway and Oates wrote some all-time classics and they didn’t even have dial-up. But you can’t merely turn off the Wi-Fi on your laptop. Your brain is far too clever for that; you’d simply switch it back on so you could “research” something, then next thing you know, you’re looking at the IMDB page for Howard the Duck. You must physically disconnect your modem, put it back into its original packaging, get in your car, drive it to a nearby and reasonably priced storage facility, and lock it down. It’s the only way. If you aren’t sure where such a storage facility is located, simply look it up on your Internet-enabled smart phone.

Stock Up on Provisions

Flow is a fragile thing, and you can’t risk interrupting it by grabbing a snack or refilling your coffee every two pages. Head to your local convenience store and grab two of every candy bar on the shelf. Make sure you have enough coffee to last you for at least six chapters. A little mini-fridge to keep sodas cold wouldn’t hurt. Gentlemen, those empty soda bottles are great for when the muse and your bladder are competing for your attention. For ladies, consider an empty coffee can.

Prepare your Writing Area

A blindfolded child tries and fails to look at a smart phone [1]
photo by Zak Cannon

You know why big corporations stick their workers in drab, stifling cubicles? Because without any sort of ambience or atmosphere, supervisors can get much more work out of them. Now its your turn to be your own tyrannical boss. Remove attention burglars such as photos of loved ones, treasured mementos of good times past, posters that might motivate you, and anything else that isn’t a wall, computer monitor, or the cloud of desperation that now permeates your workspace. Look how productive you are! Too bad your boss is such a jerk. By the way, he wants eight pages on his desk before you clock out for the day, so get cracking.

Say No

You say you don’t have time to write, but you always seem to have time to meet your friends for drinks or go to your kids’ soccer games. Is writing your passion or isn’t it?! Your life needs paring down, so you’re going to have to turn down some invitations to do fun things. This will get easier the more you do it—your resolve will strengthen, and your friends and family will come to hate your guts. But it’ll all be worth it to see your book on the shelf of your town’s last remaining bookstore before it gets turned into a bike shop.

Research the Issue

There’s a lot of advice on how to avoid getting distracted. A quick Google search yields thousands of articles and blog entries on the subject, so it’s a good idea to get your modem out of storage again so you can look them up. Distraction is an issue for many writers, so the best course of action is to dedicate dozens of hours to reading everything you can on how to prevent it.

How do you eliminate distractions from your writing? Let us know in the comments!

About Bill Ferris [2]

After college, Bill Ferris [3] left Nebraska for Florida to become a rich and famous rock star. Failing that, he picked up the pen to become a rich and famous novelist. He now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and looks forward to a life of poverty and ridicule.