I hope you find this week’s writing tip useful – the third in our series on defeating Writing Enemies. If you missed how to beat self-doubt and imposter syndrome, click on the links to catch up. 🙂

Distractions. We live in an age of endless distraction. Each time our phone pings we receive a rush of endorphins as we go to answer it. What will it be? Will it be a message from a friend, or another email from an airline with amazing deals to anywhere in Europe (um, not right now, thanks!)?

And there are endless other distractions, too – the Amazon parcel arriving, dinner to prepare, the old lady down the road who’s ill, the kids who need help with their homework (hats off to all you parents out there who have done the most amazing job over the last few months!), Zoom meetings to plan for… and that’s not counting work, housework, the garden and all the paperwork that fills life…


How does anyone ever get any writing done, ever???????

Here are a few tips if you have seemingly endless distractions:

  1. Make writing part of your daily (or at least weekly) routine. This is the biggest and best tip I can give you. If you always write on Tuesday evenings, or from 6-7am every day, or during your lunch break at work, it will soon become a habit, and you won’t have to think about it – you’ll just do it. Everyone around you will expect you to do it, too, which will help!

2. Make it easy for yourself. Work on a computer that does not have internet access (a grim WiFi spot might do it!) and leave your phone in another room. Put a do ‘not disturb sign’ on the door, grab a drink before you get stuck in so you’ve no excuse to get up, put the cute kittens in another room. Do it fast, so your brain doesn’t get a chance to argue. (Aw, those kittens! I know, but they will still be there when you finish writing. And think how amazing you will feel when you come out later with your next chapter outlined! Yay!)

3. Talk to yourself as if you were your best friend. You don’t have to check if you’re on the prayer meeting rota now, do you? Really? Come on, Janet, get a grip, girl!

4. Get excited. Look forward to your writing time! Tell your brain that your writing time is a privilege, a responsibility and also the most wonderful joy. It’s going to be GOOD! So when washing the kitchen floor or mending the jug handle that was broken several weeks ago seems more appealing, remember how much you love writing!

5. Accept that life happens. There will be days/times when none of that works. Hey-ho! Just get back up, smile and get back to plan as soon as you can. You’re only defeated when you give up. And you’re not going to do that, are you? 🙂

So wherever the distractions come from – inside, outside or every which way, it’s time to give them the boot. When you feel them coming on, pray, take a deep breath, say 5,4,3,2,1, get up and just do it.

What’s your best tip for avoiding the inevitable distractions that stack up against you? Did you find any of these helpful? Write a comment below, or send me an email so I can pass it on. Let’s encourage each other!

Janet Wilson, founder of Dernier Publishing

Every blessing with your stories,


P.S. If you found this helpful, please share with your friends – it might be exactly what they need to hear right now.

Writing Enemies – Distractions and How to Beat Them
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