Friday, December 9, 2016

The Distracted Writer (and how to not be one)

We've all been there.

*Write, write, write, check email, check FaceBook, get a snack, reply to some texts, look at stats*
Oh yeah... where was I?
*Write, do some research, remember something else online unrelated to writing...*

I'll be the first to raise my hand. It happens here. Even when I know that I'm getting distracted, I still let it happen. In fact, as ironic as it sounds, as I'm writing this article I've already gotten distracted three times. The struggle is real, folks!

Some days, I write just fine without distraction. Other days, it seems like everything but writing is on the brain! And on these days, when I don't quite know what I'm supposed to do in my writing, my mind wanders. And distractions come up.

Not that I'm the queen of solving these problems (obviously), but here are some tips I've applied to my own life in fighting against these distractions.

If you've got text tones on, turn them off. If your FaceBook or email notifications come up on your screen or make a sound, turn them off. Do everything you can to make your writing time your writing time.

If you just can't stay focused, set a timer, then appoint an award (e.g. "I will do nothing but write for fifteen minutes, then I will spend five minutes working on emails.").

How many words are you going for? Do nothing until you've written 100 words (or 500 or 1,000), or finished the chapter, or completed a scene (whichever goal suits your style).

 Find a fellow writer or friend to keep you accountable. Tell them your goals at the beginning of the day, and report back to them at the end of the day.

Whatever tip you decide to apply, don't be scared to "award" yourself somehow. Whether it's chocolate or internet time, after you've accomplished your goals, give yourself some freedom and relax.

You've heard my tips, now... what are your tips? When you find yourself getting distracted, what do you do to prevent it? Ready... share!

Note: this article was previously posted on Amanda's blog, With a Joyful Noise.


Amanda Tero is a homeschool graduate who desires to provide God-honoring, family-friendly reading material. She has enjoyed writing since before ten years old, but it has only been since 2013 that she began seriously pursuing writing again – starting with some short stories that she wrote for her sisters as a gift. Her mom encouraged her to try selling the stories she published, and since then, she has begun actively writing short stories, novellas, and novels. If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!



  1. Thanks for sharing, Amanda! I tend to get easily distracted while writing, so these tips should help me!

  2. It is easy to get distracted when you are writing, it is just a case of moving forward. Even if you have a less productive day the worse thing you can do is give up like a lot of aspiring writers do.


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