How to Write a Novel in Thirty Days, Tip #4, DISTRACTIONS

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How often do you get interrupted when you write? What’s the primary source of your distractions? Is it Facebook, Twitter, or Email. For me, it can be all three, but other things too.

Admit you have distractions, but don’t use those intrusions as an excuse to STOP writing.

Since the trick to writing your FAST DRAFT is to keep writing, here are a few suggestions on how to avoid these interruptions and what to do when you have to stop in the middle of a scene.

  1. TURN YOUR INTERNET OFF.  Most computers have a little button on the keyboard that allows you to turn off the internet. Other computers have drop-down boxes that give you this option. Before you begin your wordcount for the day, find your OFF button and push it. Find an easy way to STOP all internet and tell yourself you’re not allowed to turn it back on until you’ve reached your goal. If you want to write 50K words in 30 days your goal should be 1667 words. There’s nothing you’ll miss that you can’t address later. It’s all about priorities. Make your wordcount the first one.
  2. LEAVE YOURSELF A NOTE.  If your house catches on fire obviously you’ll have to stop writing. Seriously though, there will be interruptions so count on them and decide how you’ll handle them. When I’m writing or rewriting my wip and I’m interrupted, I type START HERE right where I’m at. Here’s why: When I return to my story I need to know where I left off because I forget. Sometimes things happen and days go by before I return to my work. If this happens to you, get in the habit of leaving yourself a note so you’ll remember where to start. If you type START HERE in the FIND feature of WORD you’ll waste less time looking for where to continue.
  3. READ THE LAST FEW PARAGRAPHS.  When you return to your wip after the interruption, reread the scene you left off in so you can feel your character’s emotion, remember whose point-of-view you were writing in, and know how to continue.

The important thing is not to lose focus of your goals. Your word count should be your number one priority for the day. (Except if you house catches on fire.)

Good luck and keep writing.

What helps you with distractions?

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