How to Eliminate Distractions When Writing

Filed in Ask the Editor, Writing Tips by on May 22, 2020 0 Comments

Having focused and uninterrupted writing time is hard. So, here are 10 tips to eliminate distractions when writing. Having your most productive writing t...

Even without COVID-19 taking up extra space in our thoughts and altering how we live, having focused and uninterrupted writing time is hard. So, throw in a global pandemic, and that can really tank your creativity. Here are 10 ways to eliminate distractions when writing, so you can have your most productive writing time yet!

1. Find a hideaway in your home.

Instead of trying to write at your dining room table or kitchen counter, find a nook in your home that’s not in plain sight and doesn’t put you in a high traffic pattern used by others in your home.

2. Ask family or roommates to respect your writing time.

The people you live with may not realize how important your writing time is to you, so take a few minutes to have a conversation with them about your goals and ask them not to bother you when you are writing.

3. Don’t surf the web.

The invention of computers is fantastic. The rabbit holes that come with Wi-Fi and instant access to the internet, however, are not so great for writing productivity. When it’s time to write, don’t take a detour to the internet for research. If you find a spot in your writing that needs more research, make a note to go back and do it later. Once you come out of your writing hole, it’s harder to get back in it.

4. Listen to sounds or music that help you focus.

These can help you quiet distractions around you and also quiet your mind as you write. We recommend:

  • White noise
  • ASMR
  • Classical music
  • Acoustic songs
  • Nature sounds

5. Silence your phone.

There’s nothing worse than a large group text getting lots of attention on your phone while you’re trying to write. Be sure to silence your phone, turn off notifications, or even leave it in another room while you write. That way, you can’t be tempted to read the latest updates from your friends or family during writing time.

6. Avoid writing in bed or in front of the TV.

Writing in bed will inevitably lead to you taking a nap when you should be dominating your word count. And there’s nothing more distracting than your favorite TV show coming on when you wanted to do a 30-minute writing sprint. Avoid your bed and the TV during writing time and see how much more focused your writing can be.

7. Make sure your space is comfortable.

Don’t pick an uncomfortable chair or space to write in. You’re going to be in that spot for long periods of time while writing your book and being uncomfortable won’t help. Choose a spot that is ergonomically comfortable, doesn’t create body fatigue, and isn’t so comfortable you want to fall asleep (like your bed).

8. Use headphones.

If you have trouble zoning out and tuning into your writing, try putting headphones on. Even if you don’t listen to anything, it may help you block out distracting sounds.

9. Go to the park with paper and a pen.

Sometimes, no matter how much we try, we can be easily distracted by the internet, our phones, and the people we live with. If you hit this point, grab a notepad and a pen, as well as your favorite beach chair, and head to the nearest park. Plant yourself under a shady tree and get some writing done.

10. Quiet your thoughts.

There are times when your distractions won’t come from your surroundings or the people around you. Instead, you could be distracted by stress or self-doubt floating around in your head. If this is the case for you, take a few minutes to pray and still your mind before you begin a writing session.


How do you cut out distractions while you write? Leave us a comment below!

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About the Author ()

Erika Bennett has been a freelance editor for nearly half a decade. Before joining the Xulon team in 2010, she worked with several first time authors who wanted to test the waters of self-publishing. Her aim is to make sure great books find their way into readers' hands.

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