How to Write: Steering Clear of Distractions

What does it mean to be a writer? If you’re a writer yourself, then you’d know that there is more to being a writer than meets the eye. There’s more to being a writer than simply knowing how to write. Getting an A for your essay doesn’t make you a writer. It’s not even about having great writing skills.

I’m not saying that you can make it out as a writer even if you have bad writing skills. What I’m saying is your writing is just one fourth of the whole equation. Being a writer has more to do with ideas. It is about having something to say. It’s about finding yourself having thoughts about important stuff. It doesn’t even have to be important stuff. Even the unimportant stuff will do. These ideas usually come when the clock strikes 10 in the evening, ideas that comes when you are all alone, giving you no choice but to write it down. Otherwise, you’ll lose all of your ideas the next morning.

Being a writer is all about having the most absurd yet logical ideas. It’s about being a fountain of ideas. It’s no wonder that one of the trickiest parts about being a writer is to stay focused. I mean, distractions are everywhere. How can you ever hope to finish what you’re writing?

Don’t forget that you also have other things to worry about: the noise. Your head is already noisy enough. Add that to environmental noise that you are surrounded by. I mean, they are just everywhere.

Go with the tide

If you try to resist the chaos, then there is no way you are going to finish that book. Instead of trying to combat the noise and distractions, why don’t you just let everything be?

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “should I just let myself be distracted and not write anything?”

Well, of course not.

What I’m saying is that you should take advantage of it. It’s not like you are suddenly going to run out of ideas just because you feel distracted. That’s not how it is and you know it.

What makes writing difficult when you’re distracted is that you can’t focus on your current idea. Your mind is bombarded other new ideas. So, that was what I was referring to when I said that you should go with the flow. Don’t try to keep the new ideas from entering the gates. Instead, welcome them.

So, what if everything turns out wrong?

Well, don’t worry about it.

The thing about writing is that it is not only about writing. It’s also about editing and proofreading. Have you ever seen anyone publish a book right after he finished writing it? Well, I’m sure, you haven’t.

That’s because the writing process is composed of two steps: (1) writing (2) editing and proofreading.

When you are in the writing phase, it is important that you don’t hold back. Write everything that crosses your mind. Don’t stop.

Imagine that you found yourself in the middle of the forest, and then you suddenly found a huge monster standing right in front of you, giving you that big grin. You know that he might just swallow you who any minute. You didn’t take any minute to loose. You immediately started running for your life. You kept on running and running. You didn’t stop to look at the map, which way you’re going. If you do, the monster will get you. You just kept on running. You didn’t care which direction who took. What matters is that you get to the finish line, and you did. You stopped when you saw a large ship in the shore. You were relieved as the ship went on to the sea. You were far from danger now.

That is exactly how you should write: no holding back. Write like your life depends on it.

The next phase would be the editing process. This is the part where you’ll be reading your own writing in the attempt of correcting errors. In this phase, you’re free to be the grammar Nazi that you are. Do whatever you please just to make the writing better.

You may remove some lines. You may even add more. Do everything you can to make the story worth reading.

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