What would you say if I claimed to have found a way to increase my writing productivity ten-fold? You’d probably think I was trying to sell something. Well, I’m not really. I’ve just had my writing really take off lately and I’m hoping this tip will help someone else.
Write on a computer that’s not connected to the Internet.
Too simple? Of course, that’s why it works. My epiphany came when I installed Ubuntu on my fiance’s old computer and then couldn’t get the network connection to work. I was annoyed at first; we’d wanted another working computer partly because we’re always begging each other for the computer that contains the crack that is the Internet.
But then I decided I might as well input my preliminary notes for the story idea I’d just had using the non-Internet laptop. And when I was done with the notes, I kept writing. I don’t know how long it was. I just knew that every time I got that itch to check my email, or my blog reader, or a forum – I couldn’t. And it wasn’t that big a deal to refocus and keep writing. I’ve been doing most of my writing on the laptop since.
What this really means, of course, is that I identified my single biggest distraction and eliminated it. Your distraction might not be the Internet. Maybe you can’t listen to music with lyrics, but instrumental music is fine. Maybe you have kids pestering you and need to go somewhere – the library maybe – where no one will tug on your sleeve every five minutes. Maybe you need a separate art or craft room where you can shut the door on your distractions for a few hours.
Take a few minutes to consider what holds you back when you want to create and try to think of some ways to regain your focus by eliminating distractions.