Back in the day, writers could comfortably isolate themselves at a cabin in the woods, with nothing but the sights and sounds of nature to keep them company. The erstwhile writers of yesteryear could enjoy a modicum of solace, while crafting the great 21st-century novel.
Today, writing has gained near universal appeal as a means of creative expression and as a source of income. The Internet is peppered with opportunities for masters of the written word. From technical writers to creative writers, from analysts to gaming enthusiasts, from critics to competitors, the world wide web is awash with written content.
The IoT, useful though it is, makes distractions far too convenient and accessible for writers. Fortunately, there are at least 7 ways to help you focus on writing, so that you always meet those deadlines with time to spare.
Contrary to popular opinion, writing is extremely demanding. Every word matters. It’s all about staying focused with premium-grade content that delivers the right message, to the right audience. Let’s take a look at the best focused tools for budding Booker Prize contestants, and other literary merits.
#1 – Zone Out & Tune in With Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Back in the day, there was a quirky little expression, ‘Silence is golden, so shut up and get rich.’ As a writer, your biggest challenge is finding a quiet place to apply your craft.
Not unlike students who require noise-free zones, writers need absolute silence to focus on what they do best.
With all the hullabaloo going on, silence is a rare commodity. Fortunately, technology comes to our rescue with noise-cancelling headphones. These contraptions are much better than barricading yourself behind closed doors, in dark rooms, or in sudorific dungeons.
#2 – Applications to Block Distracting Content
Most writing is done online today. The Internet is a hive of activity, swarming with wonderful distractions.
Even the best writers may succumb to the allure of social media, news, entertainment, and adult content online. Every good writer knows that punctuality promotes performance, but distracting content is a bugbear that every writer has to contend with.
Luckily, the best focused tools such as BlockSite allow you to keep those distractions at bay while focusing on the work that needs to get done.
It’s a browser-based application that automatically blocks all those annoyances, thereby allowing you to focus on that creative concept, slice of literary genius, or marketing click bait that you need to get the job done.
#3 – Clear the Mental Clutter
A big problem that writers agonise through is mental fog. Our minds become cluttered with all the wrong things, and this disrupts our creative flair. Before you sit down to start writing, take a deep breath. Inhale. Hold it in. Exhale slowly.
Repeat this exercise multiple times to clear the mental clutter. It’s a fantastic way to start with a blank canvas filled with plenty of creative energy. For those writers suffering from the detested ‘writer’s block’, consider relaxation exercises before putting pen to paper.
#4 – Physical Exercise
A healthy body is a godsend for an aspiring writer. Think of the body as a fine-tuned machine – a series of inputs, throughputs, and outputs. How we feed our bodies, nurture our bodies, and use our bodies is sacrosanct.
Given all the moving parts in a body, it makes sense to exercise on a daily basis, to keep the fluids flowing, the joints moving, and the mental cognition in full flight.
In this vein, take regular breaks. Don’t allow yourself to be bogged down in the mire of grammar and diction; work your biceps, triceps, quadriceps, glutes, and core muscles. You will feel wonderful for having done so, and it will reflect in the written word.
#5 – Turn Off the Distractions
Who would have thought that eliminating distractions could be as easy as simply flipping a switch? It’s true! Turn your smartphone onto silent when you are brainstorming your next piece of literary prose.
You can still see the messages when they pop up, but you don’t need to be disrupted by the jarring sound of a shrill phone call. If you must keep track of the sports score, turn your TV onto mute, or keep a live scoreboard at the top of your screen while you’re busy working. It’s not as easy to turn off human distractions and pet distractions, but a closed-door may just do the trick!
#6 – Change Your Work Hours
A brainiac solution to the daily noise! We all know that it’s impossible to stop society from functioning, simply because we want to craft a Word document. Do little test at home.
When are you likely to hear the most noise? Is it when the homeowner’s association maintenance crews are cutting, sawing, and cleaning outside? When the local restaurants are buzzing nearby, and sports matches are raising a ruckus?
Or is later when the kids come home and it’s a full house – chaos galore? Regardless, you can work your schedule to coincide with the quietest possible hours, provided you have flexibility within you. You may find that a change in your work hours is all you need to do to help you focus on writing.
#7 – It’s About Putting Pen to Paper
It takes something special to create a magical piece of content. Too many writers believe that unless the perfect words are splashed across a page, it’s not even worth making the effort. Truth be told, you’ve just got to start writing.
You can always fine-tune your content a little later. It’s important to start putting some meat on the bones. Map out your content with broad guidelines and fill in the blanks. The sculpting can come a little later!