Distraction-free Writing in the Age of the Internet

Writers’ concentration and willpower are challenged like never before. Until recently, if a writer sat down to work, there was little to distract them except the chirping of birds or the din of the streets.

It was just the writer and the quill, and later, the typewriter.  

Now we have phones, tablets, and computers bleeping off every few minutes.

Most of us don’t realize how damaging this is. Not only does it prevent us from entering the flow state, which is crucial to our creativity, it wastes our time. One text from a family member, one email, or one social media notification can completely derail you.

It may only seem like it takes a few minutes, but add all those interruptions up at the end of the day, and you may have lost an hour or more. Not only that, you risk being led down the rabbit hole of the internet.

Check one mention on Twitter or comment on Instagram, and before you know it, you’re scrolling away while your characters sit in the corner, tapping their foot, impatiently waiting for you to tell them what to do next.

Hey, it’s not your fault. All content, video, and social media were purposely designed by some of the best minds in the world to keep you on their pages or in their loop of pages.

Sometimes willpower isn’t enough, especially if we’re tired or feeling apprehensive about writing on a particular day.

Here are a few tips for Distraction-Free Writing in the Age of the Internet:

  1. Turn off the Wi-Fi on your computer, or better yet, turn off the router for your home completely (if no one in household objects).
  2. Remove all social apps from your phone. Only check at a designated time through your browser.
  3. Shut down your phone and tablet while writing.
  4. If you need to receive calls in case of emergency, tell your close family and friends to use your phone number only.
  5. Do not open your email in the morning. Wait till the end of your writing time to check and reply to email.
  6. Use internet time as a reward to look forward to after you’ve met your writing goals.
  7. When you do get on the internet, set a timer for the amount of time you spend there.
  8. Use a blocking app.

How do you fight internet distraction?

Happy Writing!