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Stormcat
January 31st, 2018, 03:17 AM
I use an online app for my writing. I like it because I can quickly look at other information online very quickly. Unfortunately, that very same internet access provides an endless supply of distractions.

Any advice on how to block out the distracting stuff and utilize the internet better for writing purposes? I can't block sites like Facebook and Pinterest entirely, because I use them as research tools as well as social media.

Ralph Rotten
January 31st, 2018, 02:06 PM
You just have to learn self discipline.
...says the guy who is screwing around on a writing forum when he should be writing.

ArrowInTheBowOfTheLord
February 11th, 2018, 06:40 AM
Try designing a reward system. Like, "if I spend this 1-hour block of time writing, and only writing, then I will watch such-and-such video. Or, after 1000 words, then I will check such-and-such social media."

For me, personally, I write longhand to keep myself focused, so I don't know if this would actually help or not. It's just an idea. It's how I make myself do homework, sometimes. . .

Jeko
February 12th, 2018, 07:50 PM
My general ethos is 'If I'm distracted while writing this, so will the reader be while reading it'.

Keeps my mind on what I'm supposed to be doing most of the time.

Jack of all trades
February 12th, 2018, 08:01 PM
Also, consider the possibility that you don't have a clear idea of what to write. Brainstorm. With someone, if you can.

I agree with Cadence, when you're excited about what you're writing it's more likely that the reader will be when reading it. (Which is why I hate the "sit down and just write" advice.)

Jeko
February 12th, 2018, 08:10 PM
when you're excited about what you're writing it's more likely that the reader will be when reading it. (Which is why I hate the "sit down and just write" advice.)

Honestly, I don't think you have to be 'excited' all the time to write effective prose. The important thing is leaning how to stay focused when you're not excited. Be results-oriented rather than pleasure-oriented: today might be a hard day, but devote yourself to writing what you've disciplined yourself into putting out regularly and on the days you are excited you'll have more to work with, especially if you're editing anything on one of those days. And that will yield more results than waiting for the right feeling (which get more and more elusive the longer you wait).

Roac
February 12th, 2018, 08:34 PM
Definitely just have to have focus on the story and getting it written down.

For myself, I am distracted all the time. And it is not just the internet. Life is full of distractions. However, I know that if I want to get anything finished and if I want to get better at writing, I need to push those distractions to the side and focus on the task at hand.

But man is it hard to do!

MzSnowleopard
February 14th, 2018, 03:38 PM
I know at least one writer planning to get a second computer just for writing- nothing else.

Stormcat
February 14th, 2018, 10:51 PM
Try designing a reward system. Like, "if I spend this 1-hour block of time writing, and only writing, then I will watch such-and-such video. Or, after 1000 words, then I will check such-and-such social media."

Eh, I've never been good with those reward systems. I can't keep a journal for the same reason.

NathanielleC
February 25th, 2018, 11:54 PM
Every writer gets distracted. Even the ones you see on the shelves every single day have to push themselves to finish their three pages a day.

My advice: Let the distractions happen. Either that or find something you're okay with being distracted by. JK Rowling used Minesweeper and chewing gum. I've played way more than my share of Spider Solitaire.

Distraction is your mind's way of saying, "I can't work with you staring at the blank screen. Give your eyes something else to do for a minute or two."

Stormcat
February 26th, 2018, 01:56 AM
Every writer gets distracted. Even the ones you see on the shelves every single day have to push themselves to finish their three pages a day.

My advice: Let the distractions happen. Either that or find something you're okay with being distracted by. JK Rowling used Minesweeper and chewing gum. I've played way more than my share of Spider Solitaire.

Distraction is your mind's way of saying, "I can't work with you staring at the blank screen. Give your eyes something else to do for a minute or two."

My problem is that "A minute or two" quickly progresses to "The entire evening I've set aside to do some writing". It's not good!

Ralph Rotten
February 26th, 2018, 12:51 PM
This is the process that enabled me to write the equivalent of 3 books in the last 24 months, while still working 15 months a year, and having a private life.

Partition off times when you write, and times when you play.
For me, I write from 0400hrs to 0800hrs every morning. There is no game playing, no tweeting, no forums (except today because I just finished a book yesterday.)

By the time I get off work my brain power is on par with a piece of toast, so I am allowed to game & watch TV.

See, I have a full-sized flight simulator right here in the house (it's the size of a Smart Car) and for many years I struggled with trying to write when I really wanted to go fly my sim on Mars...but when I was flying I felt guilty because I knew I was supposed to be writing. But a few years back I started partitioning my schedule and I no longer have that problem. Writing time is for writing (and drinking a lotta really dark coffee.) Play time is for playing. No guilt, and my writing gets my the maximum brain power (and work gets whatever is left over.)

moderan
February 26th, 2018, 10:20 PM
Yep. Set aside the time. work like it's a job. It's the only dependable way to be productive that I've ever heard about.

shouthuzzah
March 17th, 2018, 01:14 AM
I'm personally driven by being able to check off items in a to-do list. After three checks, I reward myself with one of my "distractions" for 15-30 minutes, then keep chugging on.

seeoil
June 18th, 2018, 07:17 PM
Considering that you're writing with an online website, I guess there's really bound to be a lot of distractions. I would recommend a browser extension called Stayfocusd (or Freedom if you're an apple user). Basically, it blocks a specific website for a certain period of time, effectively blocking let's say, twitter, but not Wordpress or something like that. It also comes with a lot of customizable features, including blocking only a certain page from a website. So if you want to block the sports page from CNN, but not the politics page, you can do that. I haven't tried that feature, though (because I tend to just block the entire website), so I don't really know if it works for websites like Pinterest or Facebook, but maybe it's still worth a shot.

Dluuni
October 31st, 2018, 11:32 PM
Close everything else first. Use a different browser if you must. You can open things if you need them, but better to leave a note to come back to it.

Megan Pearson
January 31st, 2019, 03:10 AM
I know at least one writer planning to get a second computer just for writing- nothing else.

I keep an older laptop disconnected from the internet for just that purpose. The software's frozen on it, but that's okay with me.

Megan Pearson
January 31st, 2019, 03:20 AM
I use an online app for my writing. I like it because I can quickly look at other information online very quickly. Unfortunately, that very same internet access provides an endless supply of distractions.

Any advice on how to block out the distracting stuff and utilize the internet better for writing purposes? I can't block sites like Facebook and Pinterest entirely, because I use them as research tools as well as social media.

Hi Stormcat, I use a planner to keep track of where I spend my time. This helps me in allocating the amount of time I'll need for similar projects in the future. It also keeps me accountable as to what I'm doing with my time and provides a sense of progress when it doesn't seem like I'm getting anywhere too fast. If I do go on the internet while I'm working, I set a time limit and use it only as a reward and time to refocus.

Ralph Rotten
February 3rd, 2019, 05:29 PM
I block out specific times of the day for writing, and time when it is okay to game.
That way when I'm gaming I don't feel guilty because I'm NOT writing.
And when I am writing I simply do not allow social media or gaming.
Generally it works pretty well.


But I say that, having just moved my office right into the middle of a den of advanced computer gaming.
Tis true!
I moved my writing desk up to the loft, and converted the whole area into a Virtual Reality playground.
So there sits my writing desk, surrounded by the crack-cocaine version of computer gaming.
Sure, I'll get lots of work done...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yRCIAtroFs

Guard Dog
February 3rd, 2019, 05:52 PM
Well, I guess that's one way not to be led into temptation: Just sit right in the middle of it. :grin:



G.D.

unrealbarrie
February 5th, 2019, 04:41 PM
It's funny... noise doesn't really distract me, and I can check social media and write without any real concern. However, the biggest distraction I've found lately is more about things in my house, you could say. I hate seeing clutter, like piles of paper, unused and forgotten things, and simply furniture and exercise bikes taking up so much space! :( I really like that "clear space, clear mind" vibe, as then I'm not thinking about how I'm up going to clean up later or think where I can put all the junk... my head is focused on the writing :D I'm thinking of using this (https://www.boxie24.com/en-us/storage-units-near-me) and making sure all my unused and unwanted items are at least stored somewhere, and I can think about what to do with them in a few months :) Anyone else really anti-clutter?

Jack of all trades
February 8th, 2019, 03:23 PM
Honestly, I don't think you have to be 'excited' all the time to write effective prose. The important thing is leaning how to stay focused when you're not excited. Be results-oriented rather than pleasure-oriented: today might be a hard day, but devote yourself to writing what you've disciplined yourself into putting out regularly and on the days you are excited you'll have more to work with, especially if you're editing anything on one of those days. And that will yield more results than waiting for the right feeling (which get more and more elusive the longer you wait).

This might work well for you, but it doesn't work for me. There's no universal way of doing things.

"Excited" might not be achievable every time I write, but "interested" is a must. Otherwise it ends up scrapped. And I have lots of other things I can be doing while I let works simmer. I prefer to put my time to good use. Ymmv.

The important thing is for each of us to do what works best on a personal level, and support our friends as they do the same.

Jack of all trades
February 9th, 2019, 01:51 PM
Here's another thought.

If you're finding it difficult to write more of a story, shake things up a bit in your real life. Rearrange your writing area or room. Try a new sport or game. Do something out of the ordinary! Sometimes we get stuck because we're in a rut. At least that's what happens to me.

ellisael
April 10th, 2019, 09:05 AM
My 3 go to ways are:
Put phone away ( I have even once asked my friend to hide it someplace where I wouldn't find it)
Write with fun and beautiful stationery
Really organize and use online resources to find out about the best way to have a draft of what i plan to write for next 2 hours

willowarc
April 10th, 2019, 10:24 PM
My english professor is a big stickler about "organic writing". He says that a story that is forced out has tell-tale signs of being forced and contrived. You might get distracted by the interwebs, but make realistic goals... Not necessarily like the rewards system, but a little bit in the way like it. So like set aside so many hours (or even minutes) to dedicate to the act of writing (or lack thereof) and if you can't feel the words coming don't force them. Everyone gets performance shyness sometime in their life. But when you do reach the goal you set out, go out and celebrate with like a pizza or ice cream or something. Obviously you can't do this for every goal, but you get the idea, right?

Theglasshouse
May 7th, 2019, 03:11 PM
I say subscribe to a web program that costs 2.50 monthly. It blocks all websites. Consider it if the internet is distracting you. I might use it when studying becomes a prerogative or writing is a priority. I forgot the name. Look around, if you can't find it I will look for it myself. Then I will inform you if you are expressing that you are interested in such a program. But Google it and you will find it. It's cheaper that most programs. You can even time when you want the computer access back on your computer. I might have saved the link somewhere that is not in my house right now. Some university students use it so you are in good company.

Rojack79
May 19th, 2019, 08:19 AM
For me I just put on some nice noise canceling headphones blast some inspirational music and go to town with my writing.

BornForBurning
May 28th, 2019, 08:50 PM
Use a script to block anything you find distracting. Hide it in some irritating, difficult to access folder.

Bard_Daniel
June 1st, 2019, 03:29 AM
I listen to music when writing and shut off the internet, cell phone, and television. The music enables the flow to occur, which makes the writing happen. I guess it helps to have over 100 playlists at the ready! :P

Ken11
July 4th, 2019, 06:39 PM
I use an online app for my writing. I like it because I can quickly look at other information online very quickly. Unfortunately, that very same internet access provides an endless supply of distractions.

Any advice on how to block out the distracting stuff and utilize the internet better for writing purposes? I can't block sites like Facebook and Pinterest entirely, because I use them as research tools as well as social media.

You could listen some youtube mind-soothing, creation-friendly music. It will not block the distractions entirely, however you'd thus be able to balance hard work, and fun.

Ken11
July 4th, 2019, 06:56 PM
I really like that "clear space, clear mind" vibe.
This is only logical. Add to that a beautiful view through the window in front of you and your computer, and the experience is complete.

waterborne
July 9th, 2019, 06:20 PM
You avoid distractions if you want to avoid distractions. You write if you want to write. You feel cognitive dissonance if what you lie to yourself about what you want. I suggest keep an excuse diary and then indulging yourself in the distractions, but holding yourself accountable for it after with the result.

Ex. 1
I went onto social media instead of writing. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would writing.
Ex. 2.
I decluttered the house. It messed with my routine, and hours later the house was cluttered again.
Ex 3.
I took an extra shift at work. I did not enjoy it, but I admit it was a necessary sacrifice to make me not resent writing later.

AndreaStory90
July 11th, 2019, 07:37 PM
[QUOTE=NathanielleC;2140895]Every writer gets distracted."
Certainly true witb me. I'm extremely easily destracted when I write. I usually try to write short five minute stories as a way of helping the problem.

LaughTrack
July 14th, 2019, 01:21 AM
This is definitely a thread I needed to read. I've always found myself becoming distracted while I write but I've slowly found ways to help myself. People and music- or more so how I listened to my music- were my biggest obstacles to actually accomplishing goals. I "solved" my people problem when I changed roles, got more hours, and began working thirds, so most of my friends stopped talking to me because I was less available. My family are all day people as well so I get a lot of alone time on my nights off, which is convenient for an aspiring writer. Then I limited using websites like Youtube for listening to music while I write for obvious reasons. Surprisingly, nothing good ever came from becoming bored and reading comments there. Nothing... Now I use Pandora and iTunes while I write. I also monitor the genre depending on how I feel and the mood I'm conveying.
I've found a lot of good quotes to inspire me to keep focused from this thread though, thank you all. I might consider designing a desktop background using a few of my faves so it's there to remind me when I start veering away from writing.

MatthewWilliams75
July 28th, 2019, 05:40 PM
The easist way for me to avoid distraction is to set up time blocks for each day. There are things I do every single day like cleaning my apartment, yoga, exercising, writing, etc.

But for me, I need to set it up specifically otherwise I will procrastinate and not even do anything. I always start at the top of the hour and use at least 20 minutes before I take a break. For example, 9:00-10:00 AM tomorrow is yoga on my schedule. But I rarely do it for an hour. But I make sure I do it for at least 20 minutes. Having the specific time helps me b/c if I don't, I'll end up putting it off all day and then make excuses that it's getting late or I'm tired.

Oh and none of this works unless I get up at the same time everyday, weekends included. The time I wake up sets the tone for the rest of the day. By scheduling blocks each day, I can make sure I do what I need to do. If I finish early in that time block, I do whatever I want. But I make sure I go on to the next daily assignment at the top of the hour.

Kist
August 13th, 2019, 05:16 PM
Just curious, what writing app do you use? I'm looking for something new.

Sam
August 16th, 2019, 12:15 PM
I use an online app for my writing. I like it because I can quickly look at other information online very quickly. Unfortunately, that very same internet access provides an endless supply of distractions.

Any advice on how to block out the distracting stuff and utilize the internet better for writing purposes? I can't block sites like Facebook and Pinterest entirely, because I use them as research tools as well as social media.

Yeah, you discipline yourself to not go on the Internet for anything other than research.

It's not that onerous.

HandinHandTogether
November 16th, 2019, 01:08 PM
I have started to diarise my time, this enables me to be more prodductive and less distracted. But also allows me to be in the moment more, whether i am writing or if i am not.

Theglasshouse
November 16th, 2019, 03:08 PM
There are programs that you can google and that block out distractions.

Foxee
November 16th, 2019, 03:14 PM
Here are all the effective, useful things that I've actually implemented that help me to avoid distractions. In order: