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10 Sneaky Strategies to Eliminate Writing Distractions

I try not to be obvious about it, but sometimes a writer just needs to be alone. I’ve never quite figured out why, just when I’m immersed in a scene, my husband calls to ask me a question.  Maybe it’s some sort of mind link? If it’s not that, a neighbor may just knock on my front door or the washing machine makes a racket that sounds a lot like a jackhammer slamming into the wall.

Distractions. They derail my train of thought, put me outside the writing zone, and make me have to apologize later. Call it self defense, if you will, but I’ve come up with some tactics to eliminate writing distractions. They are tongue in cheek but based in reality.

Eliminate Writing Distractions

  1. Headphones, with or without music, are a writer’s best friend. They can isolate you in your own little world and let you shrug at a would-be interrupter while shouting, “Sorry, I can’t hear you!”
  2. Bumping the telephone off the hook and/or gaining a reputation for forgetting to charge your cell phone buys a lot of quiet time.
  3. Holing up with enough food and water takes away interruptions caused by hunger and thirst. Just remember to stand and stretch or walk around once in a while or you’ll freeze in place.
  4. Park your car in the garage and keep the doors shut tight. Maybe even put up a sign on your door that says, “Check back at {insert time}.
  5. Write when you are alone and save mundane chores for when family members are home. This lets them see you actually doing something besides write and, as a bonus, you can ask them to pitch in.
  6. Install a dog or cat door. This removes one avenue your pet may  use to gain your undivided attention.
  7. Fill pet dishes with food and water before you start writing. (See reason for #6).
  8.  Have your spouse hide the modem until you verify you’ve reached your productivity goal for the day. Either that or install software, like Rescue Time, that limits your social site involvement. Drastic needs call for drastic measures.
  9. Have a quiet place to go that’s all your own where family members might forget to look for you. I get more done in my closet office, for example. Don’t announce where you’re going. though. Just quietly slip away…
  10. Schedule different time for your family, pets, friends, and neighbors. Besides reassuring them that you actually have a life outside writing, this helps you set clear boundaries for when you are, and aren’t, available.Eliminate Writing Distractions via Janalyn Voigt | Live Write Breathe #THISCRAZYWRITINGLIFE

Written by Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt

© Janalyn Voigt
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I’m Janalyn Voigt, an author, speaker, and former social media mentor. DawnSinger and Wayfarer, the first two books in my epic fantasy series, Tales of Faeraven, released with Pelican Book Group and will be followed by at least two more installments. I’m also working on a romantic suspense novel set in an Irish castle, but then historical fiction has a grip on me too. Being unabashedly multi-genre makes me into what some might term a reluctant rebel, but I prefer to think of myself as a storyteller.

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