The following article is an itsy-bitsy portion of the chapter, Distraction-Eliminating Ninja Tricks, from my Kindle book, Author’s Quick Guide to Staying Focused and Motivated.

Probably the biggest distraction to your dedicated writing time is social media. If you’re like me, you start out with good intentions. All you needed was to grab a link you know you saw someone post on Facebook. You go straight to their profile, find the link, and then you make that one crucial mistake… you scroll down just a little and read their previous post. You probably already copied the link so you can reference it for your book, and that post has suddenly grabbed your attention. You start reading the comments. You “like” a few of them. Then without thinking, probably out of habit, you click the “Home” button and start scrolling through your News Feed. You “like” a few more friends’ posts, write a few comments, and in the back of your mind that reminder that you came here just to copy and paste a link for your book begins to tickle the base of your skull.

You ignore the tickle and watch a YouTube video featuring cats and water. You laugh and think, “This is just the break I needed.” Who cares if you’ve only been writing for five minutes? Your brain needed a break… at least, that’s how you justify it. You end up on Pinterest without realizing how you got there and start re-pinning recipes you know you’ll never make. Which reminds you, you were supposed to email your best friend about dinner this weekend. So you open your email, and it automatically downloads your new messages.

You do the responsible thing and begin replying to those messages. After all, you don’t like your clients and friends to wait to hear from you. One message mentions something about Twitter, so you click through to check it out. Now you have three social media tabs open on your browser and the cat video starts to automatically replay in a fourth tab.

Then you glance at the clock. An hour and a half has passed since you opened Facebook to grab that link.

Sound familiar? This happens to the best of us, so it’s OK! Here are 3 simple steps you can take to help eliminate the ever-present distraction of social media:

  1. Close your internet browser and turn off notifications on your computer for all social media accounts.
  2. Start writing, and when you come across a section that needs a link, type *** (that’s three asterisk symbols).
  3. When you’re finished with your writing goal for the day (or week), use the “Find” feature (refer to your word processing program’s Help menu) to find everywhere you typed *** and copy and paste those links and do the necessary research you need to finish that section.

By eliminating all or most distractions from your writing time and space, you’ll find yourself to be more focused and motivated to get your book finished!

Kristen Joy

Kristen Joy

Kristen Joy Laidig is the founder of The Book Ninja. She has authored over 40 books, started over 50 publishing companies, trained over 10,000 authors worldwide, has her black belt in karate, and eats way too much chocolate. She currently changes lives through her students… one published message at a time, manages her two retail stores Toy Box Gifts & Wonder® and Nerdvana Outpost in the heart of her newfound hometown, Chambersburg, PA, is in the start-up phase of at least three new businesses at any given time, and generally causes anyone reading this bio to be out of breath. On her “off” time (what’s that?) she brainstorms business ideas with her awesome husband, the great Public Domain Expert himself, Tony Laidig, and hangs out with her two ragdoll kitties. She’s even been known to sleep... occasionally.


Leave a Reply