Welcome to Inkygirl: Reading, Writing and Illustrating Children's Books (archive list here) which includes my Creating Picture Books series, Advice For Young Writers and IllustratorsWriter's and Illustrator's Guide To Twitter, interviews, my poetry for young readers, #BookADay, writing/publishing industry surveys, and 250, 500, 1000 Words/Day Writing Challenge. Also see my Inkygirl archives,  and comics for writers (including Keiko and Will Write For Chocolate). Also check out my Print-Ready Archives for Teachers, Librarians, Booksellers and Young Readers.

I tweet about the craft and business of writing and illustrating at @inkyelbows. If you're interested in my art or other projects, please do visit DebbieOhi.com. Thanks for visiting! -- Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Entries in distractions (18)

Monday
Sep182017

Writers and illustrators: Be aware when reading advice online turns into a crutch and excuse to procrastinate.

Wednesday
Aug302017

Productivity tip for writers/illus: While online, DON'T FALL DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE. 

Tuesday
Jul252017

Time management tip for writers & illustrators: Guard your creative time by learning how to say no. (I find this tough sometimes, too!)

Sunday
Jul232017

One of the challenges of the modern-day writer...

Wednesday
May172017

Productivity tip for writers/illus: While online, DON'T FALL DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE. 

Thursday
Oct132016

Productivity tip for writers/illus: While online, DON'T FALL DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE.

Wednesday
Mar302016

Productivity reminder: When online, DON'T FALL DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE.

Of course, this isn't based at all from my own experience.

Ahem.

Tuesday
Oct062015

Writers' Block Biscotti

Tuesday
Sep222015

A Cautionary Comic For Writers

Thursday
May282015

Productivity tip for writers: see how long you can stay offline

Know the difference between actually being productive and the illusion of productivity, especially when you're online.

Friday
May222015

Aspiring writers: Before worrying too much about networking/promo, FINISH WRITING YOUR BOOK. 

Saturday
Jan032015

Insecurity, distractions and FINDING FOCUS again while writing

Title: "Looking For Thyme"

Having trouble finding the time to write during the day because of interruptions or other distractions? Or fighting the urge to go look stuff up on Google during your writing sessions?

(hand waving weakly here)

This year I'm going back to writing first thing in the morning to learn how to focus again. I have no problem focusing when I'm illustrating, or doing nonfiction or blog writing. When I'm doing fiction writing, however, I find myself constantly distracted.

Part of this, I'm suspecting, is insecurity. My theory: my subconscious is yelling "if you finish this new book, you're just going to get rejected again! I'm not going to let you finish!" 

To my subconscious: I'M NOT GOING TO LET YOU TAKE CONTROL ANYMORE.

Julia Cameron suggests doing three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. I tried this some years back and while it worked for a bit, I just found the process of writing by hand too laborious; I'm so used to typing on the computer keyboard. I'm also aiming for a specific wordcount rather than number of pages. However, I love the basic idea so am adapting it for my own situation.

I'm trying to do some writing first thing in the morning, before anything else. I also gave this a shot early last year but got too easily distracted. Trying it again this year but instead of fighting the distractions and worries that crowd into my head as I'm writing, I'm EMBRACING IT. If I start getting the impulse to "just take a second" to go check something online, I put that into my stream-of-consciousness writing session instead ("Right now I'm fighting the urge to go look up xxxxx...").

Sounds silly, I know, but it seems to satisfy the part of my brain that needs to do something about the thought RIGHT THEN AND THERE, so I can keep on writing about other things.

I'm also counting this as part of my Daily Words goal, which is currently 500 words/day. This morning I wrote 433 words but later today I'm going to do another writing session specifically for my own writing projects. I also find Ommwriter and Coffitivity help me focus. I've tried apps like Freedom, which turn off Internet access on my desktop computer, but I find it's way too easy to hack them. :-\

Much better, I think, to try to change my habits rather than try to hide the shiny toy.

My hope: that the habit of writing first thing in the morning starts feeling more natural to me than my OoShinyToyMustGoogleIt and "just spend a few minutes checking social media" urges.

And if the morning stream-of-consciousness exercise feels like it's becoming a regular habit, I'll stop counting those words as being part of my Daily Words goal and just count my project writing. I'll keep doing my morning warm-up, though.

If any of you are having the same issues as I am, I encourage you to try stream-of-consciousness writing, first thing in the morning. Let yourself write ANYTHING: poetry, fiction snippets, personalstuff, whatever pops into your head....just keep writing and DON'T leave whatever app you're using to "just look something up" or check email.

Good luck!  I'll check in later in a month or two to let you know how I've been doing as well.

---

The Challenge: 250, 500 or 1000 words/day. Also see my 250, 500 or 1000 words/day Facebook page.

 

Wednesday
Jun182014

Comic: A Caution For Writers

Monday
Jun162014

Finding Time To Write Tip #176: Teaching Others To Respect Your Time

 

Wednesday
Jun112014

Comic: Starving Writer, Sort Of

Wednesday
Jan022013

Comic: Pros and Cons Of Being A Freelance Writer

Originally posted in Writer Unboxed. See my other comics in Writer Unboxed.

Thursday
Dec012011

Comic: Internet Social Media Addiction Group

I'm gradually going through all my comic archives as I work on my Will Write For Chocolate book compilation, so am posting some of the oldies here in Inkygirl (sometimes revamped).

OHI0086 WRI InternetAddiction 500

Thursday
Jun242010

How do YOU avoid getting distracted by the Internet?

Some writers are able to switch off their computers and stay off e-mail and the Web all day. Freelance writers who rely at least partly on client work for income, however, sometimes don't have this luxury. The Internet can be a wonderful resource for writers but it can also be a major timesuck.

To those who DO have to go online at least a few times a day: How do you manage your time online? Do you limit the amount of time you spend on social networking sites? What tricks and tips can you offer others? What -doesn't- work for you?