A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.

Avoiding Writing Distractions

So, you want to know how to avoid writing distractions? Ah well, I could tell you, but I’d have to send someone round to do unspeakable things to your garden gnomes. I mean, come ON! We’re talking about avoiding writing distractions. This is top level, ‘Authors Only’ stuff. We authors pay in blood, sweat, and tears for our place in the Authors University, and even more for our seat in the ‘avoiding writing distractions’ class.

Not true.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, on the whole, it’s common sense. If you want to avoid distractions, then . . . well, just avoid them. If the TV is distracting you; turn it off. If the radio is distracting you; turn it off. If the internet is distracting you; turn it off. If noise is distracting you; go somewhere quiet or just yell at everyone and tell them to stop being so noisy.

I say mostly it’s common sense because y’know, one writer’s distraction is another writer’s . . . non-distraction? Can that be a word? So, some people say you should turn off the internet, but I don’t do that because I often research as I go along. I need the internet. I find music distracting while I write, so I don’t listen to it, but some writers actually make playlists. Are they mad?

But what about those emails? Social media notifications? Phone calls? What about blog posts you have to write, and school visits you have to plan? What about preparing presentations, and organising workshops? What about booking trains, finding hotels, publicising your books, managing your on-line profile, producing class notes, networking, researching ideas and . . . what about all that other stuff?

Well, I guess some distractions just can’t be avoided, so they have to be managed. So, if anyone’s got any tips on how to manage writing distractions, please tell me!

I bet Hemmingway didn’t have to keep stopping to reply to emails.

That’s all.

About dansmithsbooks

Dan Smith, author of adult thrillers and adventure/survival stories for younger readers. See more of me at


This entry was posted on January 29, 2018 by .

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