How to Slaughter Your Writing Distractions

Believe me, one of the most lethal skills for a writer's career is how to waste time.

It's one of the easiest things to do. Want an example? Well, I can wake up at 5:45, spend fifteen minutes reading through some websites on the iPhone. Get out of bed, start the computer, get dressed, have a quick breakfast...and then it's 6:20. It's thirty minutes before the bus.

Guess how many ways I can waste those thirty minutes.

One way? Throw Tumblr, YouTube and my Blogger RSS feed into the blender, drink the smoothie, and soon enough...time to go to the bus!


Yes, the Social Media Cycle is a predator that needs to be laid down.

It's time for some blood...

Today, let's butcher the distraction beasts and make art with the carcasses.

Eradicate Your Email and Social Media Time

Back in October, I talked about how you should be spontaneous with your writing. With websites like Twitter, it's the opposite.

Screw everybody who says the Internet is limitless! It might be, but it's surprisingly easy to start scraping the barrel after the umpteenth time checking your email! Half the time, the only new development is spam. Other times, it's just one of those automation messages you need to unsubscribe to.

If it is limitless, you can get lost with it. If not, there's no point checking every fifteen and thirty minutes.

So, divide your social media time into pieces and throw the fat away! Train yourself to only check email 2-3 times a day. Have a mission every time you go on a social media site.

Believe me. If you put social media into chucks of Internet meat shifts, you will be less likely to waste time.

I mean, you already chip away minutes just by getting onto those websites and losing momentum, and checking multiple sites at a time add up, so might as well get them out of the way--by chopping them into pieces.

Heh, heh, heh...

Trash Those Tips

I'll definitely go into this in the future, but writing advice can easily be a siren, luring you away from what it's supposed to help you with.

Yes, I'm a hypocrite, but if that's the case, we bloggers are doomed. Doomed. Should I start brainstorming our special circle of hell?

In any case though, it's easy to get lost reading every article on the craft out there, trying to find the silver bullet.

Except, the silver bullet won't be in any ebook. A werewolf hunter already used it to put down another monstrous manuscript.

Basically...follow through with your writing advice. Also, don't be a glutton. Gluttony only makes you a larger target.

Purge Poor Posture

My productivity goes down the chute every time I hunch down with my iPhone at the side of my bed. To prevent that, I'm working on doing it instead at the desk, to condition myself.

Condition yourself to sit by your writing desk! Get into your writing environment. Say "hello" to it, and live with it, at least for the first few days. Put your feet on the ground, and your knees off the desk. Make sure your hands are aligned correctly, so you can write easily.

After a while, stop bringing the video games to the table, and use the table for productive stuff.

Hopefully, the taint killing your mindset in dark alleys will be gone.

Murder Your Darlings

I'm not going to pull that trick.

Defenestrate Your Doubts

Your doubts are a distraction! They're petty, impish excuses preventing you from writing.

Rip out their wings and throw them out the nearest window! Carve one out if you want to.

Very few words are needed, but as one of my cross-country captains said once: "Freshmen can use any excuse to stop running."

Swap out "freshmen" for "writers", and "running" with "writing".

In Conclusion

Okay, who feels queasy?

If you do, walk away and go pet some kittens. If you don't, get to writing.

What are you waiting for? Let's get violent on our writing.

YOUR TURN: Do you have any tips advice for getting around writing distractions?

Respond in the comments, or post your answer on your personal blog, and link back here.

PS: Tomorrow's Election Day.

I'm under eighteen, so I can't vote, but if you are old enough, please do. Have a nice day, and let's hope we don't choose the wrong guy. ;)