If you’re anything like me, you find it difficult to sit in front of your computer without checking out Facebook, posting to Twitter, or watching the latest Daily Show clip on YouTube. All that distraction can be a problem when you have a writing deadline. So how do you eliminate the noise and concentrate on the blank page in front of you?
- Turn off the Internet. Literally. Programs like Freedom let you disable the Internet for set periods of time, freeing your attention for your plot and characters. Other programs such as Anti-Social and Leechblock let you limit how much time you spend on social networks like Facebook.
- Change locations. Bring your laptop to a coffeehouse without wi-fi, or better yet, a park. Anyplace you can sit and focus without the constant distractions of 24-hour news and sports scores.
- Write without a computer. That’s right, go old school: pen and paper. Not only will putting words down in ink free you from the temptations of the Internet, but the different writing format may also liberate your muse. I’ve found that switching from typing, to handwriting, and even to voice dictation results in freeing my writer’s voice in surprising ways.
- Use a writing program with a full-screen mode. Programs like Scrivener, WriteSpace, Dark Room, and WriteRoom allow you to make the blank page your entire screen, blocking out menus, palettes, and all distractions. While facing the empty page can be intimidating, the lack of diversions can be freeing.
So what do you use to get rid of distractions? Or does switching back and forth from your work-in-progress to Google+ to HBOGO add power to your writing? Leave a comment and let me know.