Strange noises erupt from the black device convulsing on my desk. I try to ignore my inner voice, but it nags at me. What if it is someone important? I grasp the sleek technology and press a button. In an instant, I am whisked away to a world of knowledge, entertainment, and social media. I feel its warmth radiating in my palm from this computer that I could only dream of while growing up, with internet speeds over 56k! (Plus I can browse while using it as a phone without the “Dial-Up” noise.)
The world of smartphones is a wondrous world indeed. It is good to know what is happening in the world of social media so we can join the conversation. But, the distractions can become worse than a swarm of Minnesotan mosquitoes. So apart from locking myself in a closet with nothing but pen and paper, how does one write that blog due in a few hours?
I discovered an organic mix of ingredients to spray away those bugs for this summer. These 6 steps can be used to keep away the annoyances. Okay, *I lied on the organic part,* but the odds are in your favor if you have a smartphone. Just be sure to turn it to silent while you write.
1. Before You Spray (plan ahead)
Make sure you set a specific time of your day for writing purposes and let people know about it. Your friends will be coming out of the walls if you do not let them know you are busy. Even then, there are those wrecking balls who like to swing in unannounced… hopefully clothed.
2. Apply As Needed (set an alarm)
If you must stay connected all the time, use a timer to write in short bursts. Most smartphones have these already installed. You can take a few minutes to update your statuses and catch up on anything you missed when it goes off. This will give you a sense of urgency to stay on task as well. 25 minutes writing, 5 minutes break is a recommended dose.
3. For Best Results (keeping the flow)
When your alarm goes off or you are needing to break, stop in an area where the scene is not resolved. If you end at a natural break, you will struggle with getting started again. This is a huge step in eliminating writer’s block. You may also think of a better twist or ending to the scene while you step away for a moment.
4. Active Ingredient (chewing gum)
This may seem crazy, but it really works. The phrase, “he can’t even walk and chew gum at the same time,” is partially true. You can write and chew gum, but your mind will not wander off as easy. You may have some other routine that helps you stay focused while writing. Let me know in the comments.
5. Subconscious Ingredient (inner sanctuary)
I had to start by locking myself in a closet. I would mute my smartphone and listen to the music on my computer while writing. Once I became comfortable in that place, I could bring it with me. You only have to imagine the atmosphere of the area. Remember that place and the peace it brought.
Robert Christensen blogged about this at The Octopus Garden: Your Creative Zone
6. Side Effects (reward your time)
You did it! You managed to ignore the culture and refuse to listen to all the attention it is trying to take from you. Now do something fun. It could be an easy writing prompt, playing a game on your smartphone, or jumping in to a live video event on YouTube (Click here for mine).