Distraction can be the freelance writer’s biggest nightmare. On a good day of writing, being distracted by something is a hindrance, a nuisance, a break in thought. On a bad writing day, a distraction can be a good excuse to go and do something else, anything else, instead of being sat in front of a computer screen with no inspiration.
While writing the above paragraph I answered a text message in between words. Was the text important? Not really. You see, distraction happens to us all.
Many freelance writers work outside of their home. However wherever you go there is probably always something to distract you and break you from your creative flow. For example…
A cafe. Distractions: people, cake, endless cups of coffee.
A library. Distractions: Books, obviously. And a shushing librarian.
On top of a hill. Distractions: The scenery. Walkers. Wildlife.
What if you decide to work from home? There will be no librarian shushing you if you sneeze. There will be no walkers strolling through your living room admiring the size of your television screen. There will be no cafe attendant supplying you with cake and coffee, however much you wish there was. However as you know, your home is littered with distractions, examples:
The internet. Unless you are doing research turn off your Wi-fi connection. This way you will not be distracted by the need to upload a picture of your current facial expression to Facebook. You will not be able to tweet the fact that you are sitting down writing when in fact you are sitting down tweeting!
Mobile phone. If you are not expecting an important phone call or text message, switch it off. In fact don’t even have it in the same room as you. No phone, no temptation. In the same way unplug your landline phone if you have one.
Television. Do not be in the same room as a television if at all possible. I live in a small apartment so I have little choice too unless I want to write in bed. In such a case as mine, unplug it. Put the remote somewhere unreachable.
People and animals. In no way should a person be put in the same category as an animal. Unless of course you need to write! Be it your partner, child, in law, parent, cat or dog, shut the door. Your partner or cat might whine for a little while. They may even scratch at the door and demand you come out and play. However, this is your writing time and you don’t need their distraction. Unless of course you have been hibernating all day in which case, please do not neglect your family and pets. They have needs too. And they love you!
Now stop reading, turn off that wi-fi and write!