How Not To Get Distracted While Writing + Infographic
June 12, 2018
Camp NaNo is upon us!
I’m planning on continuing my project from April’s Camp, and I’m still trying to figure out a way of explaining my idea and/or the plot while simultaneously making sense to anyone besides me. But, I mean, I have an outline. While I can’t articulate the idea perfectly out loud, I know what the story is about. It’s also a first draft so, logically, I don’t have to give a damn about everything (or anything) making sense just yet. I could literally just sit there and write stuff I know I’m gonna delete later just to try things out and get it written.
And somehow I still found a way not to finish it in April.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets distracted easily while writing. I mean, come on. There’s got to be someone. Anyone. For. The. Love. Of. Shrimp.
But hey. Looks like The Ideal Me came up with some ideas on how to deal with this problem. And as this infographic was falling together, I actually came to the realization that some of the things I was doing while writing that I thought were helping me (such as having an enjoyable snack, listening to distracting music from my story’s playlist as I wrote, or expecting myself to just SIT THERE and WRITE even if I was bored or stumped) actually were just harming my progress.
Like, for example:
If the reason your eyes keep leaving the screen to look out the window, at your phone or at the cobweb that’s been forming in the corner of your ceiling for years is because you’re bored with your own story, no amount of forcing it or staring at the screen hoping you’ll come up with more words will help you. Instead of just sitting there wondering why you can’t get the words to come, realize that there may not be anything wrong with you but rather with your idea. What needs to be made more exciting? What’s missing? Perhaps, are you trying to write an idea just because you like the concept of it, but have no actual interest or desire in fleshing out the plot? Don’t be afraid to make big (or even small) changes to your plot if it means you’ll have more fun writing it.
I remember reading a writing quote once (I can’t remember the exact words or who said it) that you should never walk away from the keyboard AT ALL. Thirst is just a distraction. Have to pee? Hold it as long as possible. … *chokes on my kombucha* HELL NO. I mean, to a certain extent, like, if you hear the mail truck, that can wait. If somebody’s calling you, kindly tell them “HOLD UP PLEASE.” But people, by all means, don’t deny your body its basic needs. I know that professional writing is all about deadlines and getting lots of words written fast, but if it’s not an enjoyable experience then what the hell’s the point?
Zoning out while thinking about how a certain interaction within a scene should work, or how you should start this chapter, or whatever else you need to think through is all fine and good, just remember to set a timer for 5-10 minutes to keep your thought session brief, and to remind you to get back to your writing. Also, I’ve always found pacing as I think to be helpful for some reason.
If it helps you to turn off your wifi so your computer can’t connect to the internet while you write, do that. I could get lost in Pinterest for hours and end the night not having written a single word, so heed this cautionary tale. If you absolutely need to have the internet (such as for NaNo site purposes), just monitor yourself.
Most importantly, it’s very hard to get distracted when you’re having fun!
Here, take this infographic:
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