5 Tips For Avoiding Distractions When Writing

The winter was hard for most authors. Now that spring is finally here, many writers are ready to start anew. The ideas are coming and the creativity is flowing. As a writer, most are always looking for ways to simplify the workday, as well as avoiding distractions to get that word count in daily.

One of the biggest temptations for writers today is the internet. It’s too easy to click on a page and surf the internet or stop to check your email or even check your social media accounts. Before you know it, an hour or two has passed and you’ve got 500 words of your 2K goal for the day. Undoubtedly, writing without distractions is the best way to write. In this blog, you’ll find a few tips to help you avoid distractions when you’re trying to get your word count in.

Be organized with your notes

You can’t be great at what you do if you don’t become an organized writer who takes great notes. Having to dig back through your notes to find a character’s name or description is one of the main ways that writers get distracted and lose focus on the chapter they are trying to write. When you need to save notes there are plenty of note-taking apps online that will make your life easier and keep you from digging through notebook after notebook to find what you need.

Find your focus

Good writing requires focus, knowing those four little words will make all the difference in your writing. While it may be fun to stop after 100 words to check your email or browse social media, your writing suffers for it. You have to make a choice, do you want to write or do you want distractions. The choice is yours, but you have to find your focus if you hope to meet those daily goals.

Research first

Get all of the research you can do before you start writing. When you write that first word in a new book, you should have only writing to do. If you research while you write, you’ll be flipping flopping back and forth, then in the end you’ll waste your writing time and have very little to show for it word wise. Do your research, even if it’s only for the chapter you’re writing that day, so when you start writing that’s all you have to do.

Turn off the internet

Okay, so the internet is something everyone needs in their daily lives, and it’s hard to function without it. However, do you need it to write your book? You can do this by just shutting down your browser or if that still doesn’t work for you, disconnect your internet and don’t reconnect until the writing is done. You’ll be surprised at how much more you get written when you aren’t tempted to hop over to Facebook or answer an IM from a friend.

Turn off the TV/music

Unless you’re super focused and face it, that doesn’t usually happen, then TV is going to be a major distraction for you. The same with music, if you’re not used to writing with it. Because if you are constantly fiddling with the music you want to write to, then you’re providing yourself with another distraction that needs to be conquered. If you can get a playlist together quickly and then be on your way, that’s different. If it instead distracts you, then it needs to go.

These are just a few tips for helping you avoid distractions when you’re trying to get in that daily word count as a writer. While you may love to write, it takes focus, patience, and determination. These tips will help you accomplish all three.


Tanveer Naseer is an award-winning and internationally-acclaimed leadership writer and keynote speaker. He is also the Principal and Founder of Tanveer Naseer Leadership, a leadership coaching firm that works with executives and managers to help them develop practical leadership and team-building competencies to guide organizational growth and development. Tanveer’s writings and insights on leadership and workplace interactions have been featured in a number of prominent media and organization publications, including Forbes, Fast Company, Inc Magazine, Canada’s national newspaper “The Globe and Mail”, The Economist Executive Education Navigator, and the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center.

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