Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tricks For Distraction-Free Writing

In my opinion, the most challenging thing is to take a start - that's finishing your first draft. If you are a new writer, you can read my post, 6 Reasons You Can't Finish Your First Draft.

You are an achiever if you are a disciplined writer. Being a disciplined writer is tough. There are various distractions that inhibit the flow of your writing. I have tried and discovered some tricks for distraction-free writing.

Don't Wait For The Right Time

Whatever free time you get, sit down and write (even if it's 100 words). You don't realize how much time you waste just waiting for the right, relaxed and uninterrupted time.

Use Paper-Pencil/Pen

You don't (necessarily) need to open your computer/laptop. It's difficult to shut-up the editor in you - ignore the errors, those red-green-blue lines, that backspace/delete key. Even if you type in your document, turn off the spell-check. I prefer using pencil and notebook. I have written this post in my notebook in just 5 minutes before I typed.

Use Timer - It Works!

Set it for just 5-6 minutes and write. You will write 100-125 words approximately. Just make sure you have plotted the scene/description/dialogues before you start writing. It's important to write but meaningful writing is more important. Your story should make progress. Scribbling just anything won't be helpful when it comes to finishing your first draft (of novel/short story/article). Free writing is for overcoming writer's block (I don't believe in Writer's Block or forced writing).

Make a promise that you would do whatever distracts you most when your time is up. Take a break after this short writing session and then come back again with the timer (It's a great motivation, trust me).

One more thing that disturbs is that you think your writing, scenes or dialogues are not good enough. It's normal. Don't think about it. Trust me, you will get plenty of wonderful ideas later. Writing is all about re-writing.

So, what distracts you when you are writing? What's your trick to beat them?

Sharing with Chatty Blogs @ Shanaya Tales.


  1. Your tricks and tips are very useful,Tarang.I am a person who directly types in word.Drawbacks are there.Writing with hand has become very slow.Editing also becomes less.

  2. I do write in my diary, but mostly I prefer writing on my laptop. I simply put my phone off the wifi, log out of FB and push people out of the house so that I get some peaceful moments to write to my heart's content! :) And, these moments are magical...i get a decent post typed in an hour's time, to my satisfaction and liking! Just switching off all the distracting apps does the trick for me. :)

  3. Very useful tips, Tarang. I am eternally distracted, which is why I use the pomodoro method. 25 mins of work/writing - 5-10 mins rest. There are times when I skip on the rest, but just knowing that I need to focus only for a little while, helps me focus better. :)

  4. Very useful post for all writers.

  5. Very useful, practical tips. First one is most important, I have waited for months sometimes for right time for writing. Thank you for tips.

  6. Some very useful tips here, Tarang! I love the 'Use timer' one and the 'don't wait for the right time' These are really going to help me.
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. I need to have set goals like the A to Z challenge. I work best in that format. I cannot begin to tell you how many short story contests I missed even when I had the story ready in my mind but just could not convert it into doc format due to lethargy and life.

    Even a good 5-6 minutes of uninterrupted writing would have made a difference, in hindsight


  8. I love the tips because these are exactly what work for me. Like Shantala, I use the pomodoro technique and it works wonders. Paper and pen is great for breaking the block and letting things flow.

  9. @ Rudraprayaga: Glad you found it helpful. :)

    @ Shilpa: This is good. Social media is the biggest distraction. Thanks for visiting. :)

    @ Shantala: This tricks work. That's why I set the timer just for 5-6 minutes. Sometimes, it encourages you to write more. Thanks for reading. :)

    @ Vasantha: Thank you. :)

  10. @ Varsha: You are most welcome. Thanks for visiting. :)

    @ Deliciously: Yes, they work. Thanks for reading. :)

    @ Roshan: I find daily blogging a little difficult. You are one of the most successful short story writers. Please don't miss contests. :) Thanks for reading.

    @ Shailaja: Glad to know that. Thanks for reading and sharing. :)

  11. Once you start writing on any theme, more often than not you won't stop. I normally write my heart out that way.

    Thanks for putting this...practical tips!

  12. Using a timer really works for me. I'm able to focus and get writing done comfortably with a timer.

    Pen and paper, that's my favourite :) I carry a journal with me while travelling and it helps me to note down ideas, points and at times conversations of people.

    I also switch off my mobile & Wifi is I'm writing something very important.

  13. @ Alok: Glad you found it practical. Thanks for reading.

    @ Gayu: Same pinch, just I rarely switch off wi-fi. : )