My Laptop Turns Off When I Unplug It Creative Writing Tips – Top 20 Distractions and Excuses That Keep You From Writing

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Creative Writing Tips – Top 20 Distractions and Excuses That Keep You From Writing

People often cite extreme distractions in their lives that prevent them from working on their writing/creative projects. They also like to hold on to excuses that have blocked their creative outlets for years. This article on creative writing tips will provide possible solutions to 20 common distractions or excuses. That way, if you don’t write, you can say, “I’m choosing not to address these issues,” as opposed to blaming yourself. Acceptance is the first step, right? 🙂

1. My phone keeps ringing with calls or messages.

Turn it off or be dramatic and remove the battery. Believe it or not, the world will go on without reaching you for a while. If you don’t believe me, do the ten minute test and see if the earth is still here. If yes, then try to add that time gradually. If not, wow, you’re really important!

2. People keep instant messaging me.

Exit the offending program or uninstall the dang thing. I uninstalled AOL Instant Messenger about two years ago and since then my life has become more productive. If you’re worried about missing a message from a certain person, tell them you’ll be busy doing something nice for the next hour.

3. My house, cafe, basement, attic or street is very noisy.

Write somewhere else? Finding a quiet place isn’t too difficult if you’re willing to leave the problem area. Local libraries, bookstores, or quiet restaurants work for me when I crave quiet. If you want to stay within your noisy surroundings, ear plugs are an inexpensive solution, and noise-canceling headphones are a bit pricey. And finally, the bathroom is always a good last resort.

4. I am too jumpy or irritable to write!!!

Oh, calm down. First, read my article about quitting coffee :). Second, instead of just giving up writing, take a moment to think. Earlier in your life, when you needed to sit still or relax, what did you do? Read a book? Heard Frank Sinatra? Put down for something? Try what works for you and then get back to writing. It might be too easy to get started.

5. I feel the need to check my e-mail, traffic statistics, football scores, etc. on the computer.

Turn it off, unplug it, or leave the house. Challenge yourself to hold it off for as long as possible. How to write without a computer? Go old school and break out the pad of paper and pencil.

6. My computer is broken, too slow, or in use.

See the pad of paper instructions in #5. If you use a computer, ask a friend or find an Internet cafe.

7. My favorite TV show or movie is on.

Turn it off, unplug it, or leave the house. Nowadays, almost every popular TV show will be online the next day. Also, if you have a TiVo or DVR, problem solved. This is your time to write, don’t let CBS tell you otherwise. If you have a favorite movie, find a way to record it or buy a DVD. Many of these solutions involve sacrificing your immediate happiness for your ultimate fulfillment. Trust me when I say this: TV is less important than you.

8. I am too tired to write.

Get up and go for a walk, stretch, eat an apple and some raw almonds. Put on some pump up music and dance a little. If none of this works, stand up and write. It is difficult to sleep standing up. Don’t just pop a pill or drink a Red Bull. This will work in the short term and hurt in the long term. Also, assess what time of day you are strongest. Write at that time.

9. I am too hungry to write.

Get your laptop or paper and pencil out of the house and stop by a good writing cafe. If you take the time to prepare a five-course meal at home, you may lose the drive to write until you’re done filling yourself. Let someone do the work for you and write while they do it.

10. I have to leave for work in an hour.

Get out now! Get there early and write when you get there. Oh, and if you’re taking public transportation, write on the way there. Just because you don’t have much time to write doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Just make some progress. And leaving the house, you must eliminate many distractions right there.

11. I have time, but I don’t feel motivated.

Surf around this site for twenty minutes! That’s what it’s for :).

A quick tip: think about how good you’ll feel when you’re done with what you’re working on. This is the basic law of attraction.

12. I don’t know how to do the next chapter, story, passage or scene.

just write Write the first thing that comes to mind. Don’t judge him. Just go for it! If you need some information, gather research and then write! You don’t have to do a certain thing, it just has to be done. So, make it happen.

13. My dog/cat/bird has to go out for a walk.

Why not bring your dog/cat/bird to the park with a paper trust pad? If not, take your pet outside as an excuse to leave the house for work. When you get back home, drop your pet off and head to a local cafe or favorite writing spot. I’m sure he or she will understand :).

14. I told my boss, my friend, my landlady, my partner etc. that I would do something for them.

Now you can delete an old IM, text message or phone call and tell the person in question that you are unable to work on his or her project. This is not a lie! You have an important project to work on for yourself. If you are motivated, have an idea and want to get started, you should get out of your previous busy schedule.

If you can’t reschedule, do it. If you can’t reschedule it, try delegating. If you can’t do either, put it off for an hour or two and start writing. Your writing is important. The sooner you start making it out to people who “request” your time, you’ll probably find that more writing time happens naturally.

15. I am too overcome to write sadness, grief, anger or some other powerful emotion.

Perfect! Use it. Being overwhelmed by emotion is a huge situation as a writer. There is a lot of raw power that you can draw from and draw from.

Try to convince yourself that putting this feeling down on the page will be good for your writing. If that seems impossible, find a friend who understands your desire to channel your feelings into written words. We will call this friend a writing friend.

I was a writing buddy for my friend Adam during a difficult breakup. He was devastated. He could not eat or sleep, but I forced him to write. The result was a one-man show that is currently being adapted into a full-length film. Bringing genuine emotion to your work can take you far. Some obstacles are not obstacles at all.

16. I want to write, I don’t think I’m any good.

prove it Prove to me that you are not a good writer. I can show you proof of the chinks in my armor. I got a C in a poetry class, a fiction teacher told me I shouldn’t write fiction, and a newspaper review mentioned that I co-wrote a “lemon” of a script. And yet, I pressed on. why How?

I have yet to make my major contribution. I feel like I can still write something that means something or ends. Maybe it’s a website and maybe it’s not. I know I’m getting close because I still want to write.

If you want to write, write. If you don’t think you have any talent but still want to write, there must be a reason. If you don’t write, you’ll never find that reason. If you still want to test the waters, you might as well jump in. Talent and perceived talent are only a small part of the pie. So I say, dig in, write, and see what happens. You know, before I make another metaphor :).

17. I don’t know how to write.

Pick up your favorite book or play and open your most planned passage or scene. Write something in the style of that scene. With the same characters or your own creations. When you’re done, read it out loud and allow for anything that feels odd. Now repeat the same process with the second scene. Do this from the beginning until you feel comfortable. If interested in non-fiction, do it with a similar non-fiction work. And then you’re a writer. Start putting on your business cards :).

18. I work a lot! There simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

2 options.

Option 1 – Change your job to one that allows you to write. This can be done by working as a receptionist in a library or in a less busy office. Also, pursuing something more passive like a website or some type of investment can free up some time for writing.

Option 2 – Less sleep.

I started option two about a year ago and option one a few months ago. Both of them have their positive and negative characteristics. Option two has been personally more effective, and both work best if your goals are strong. I know that sacrificing sleep is negative for your health, but I plan to improve this aspect of my life in the future.

Making time for your writing often requires sacrifice. What is it going to be?

19. I have no idea.

There are many free creative writing prompts on the Internet. Many are on my website if you go there.

20. I have so much to say, I can’t get it all out at once!

Start small. Write just one paragraph. Or write an outline. Don’t let the richness of your ideas hold you back. You have the best kind of problem. Just know that any job takes time.

But if you want to get it all out, take a day off work, go to a cafe and bring lots of paper :). I once wrote a screenplay in one day because it felt like it had to get out of my head. Why fight? Start writing!

In speculation

Please, please, please write. Don’t let anything get in your way. If you get stuck, check back here and I’ll try to guide you through it. Happy writing.

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