How do you write to concen– Oh look, sparkly!

Lately, all I’ve wanted to do is write. I’ve been coming up with new ideas for my current work in progress and having a blast. But when I sit down at my computer, I can’t CONCENTRATE. Yes, I have ADD—but it’s never been this bad. I have always assumed that it’s easier to write on the computer. After all, everything I write has to get here sometime, right? But it turns out that this isn’t for me.

When I write, I need to write. Trying to type on my computer is too distracting. I never actually write. I go to Twitter, I go to Facebook, I go to Inkpop—anything and everything. No matter how badly I want to write, I can’t get anything done. (How I’m writing this blog post is beyond me.) However, when I write by hand into a notebook, I can write for hours. I don’t care that writing by hand gives me blisters or makes my back and shoulders hurt—I’m WRITING. This way, when it comes time to put it into the computer, I don’t actually have to think. Typically, I type it in while watching some of my TV addictions online. Today, for instance, I typed up two chapters while catching up on Glee. Does it take more time? Yes. But I get more DONE.

Some of you, I know, wouldn’t agree. You can actually type on a computer and get more done. I’m very jealous, just so you know. It would be more time-effective. What I want to know is, is there anyone who types an even more different way? Like, do you use speech recognition software? Do you use a typewriter? Quill and ink? Something else? What do you do to get your imagination on the page?

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5 thoughts on “How do you write to concen– Oh look, sparkly!

  1. I do use a computer, and I do have ADHD, and I do get distracted, mostly by email and twitter. (Which is how I found this blog post!) But I do little rituals to help me focus.

    I use a writing app that makes typing noises as I write (yWriter). I listen to fast music with few or no lyrics. I have an ecig (electronic cigarette) with nicotine-free juice to puff on, and sugar-free candy, and sugar-free gum. Most importantly, I have my mug of tea on a warmer that I sip slowly. The slow-delivery of caffeine really helps.

    I also watch the clock, and start to feel guilty if it starts to get late. When the time comes to Get Serious, I minimize everything but my writing page and WinAmp open with the visualizer on the second monitor. If I need to stare off into space to think, I find myself looking at the colorful patterns, which HELP my thinking instead of making me want to click to see that video link someone just posted on Twitter. 🙂

    Speaking of Twitter, since I feel guilty when I don’t read *everything*, I keep my number of followers to a minimum. When I find it takes more than 30-60 minutes to keep up, I start unfollowing the most prolific or least interesting people, until it’s reasonable again. Same with email and unsubscribing from ads and mailing lists. Keeping the #amwriting tab open when I actually am writing is a recipe for distraction.

    Thanks for the post!

  2. This one gave me a giggle. Was it suppose to?

    If it’s any help to you, I can not ‘create’ on the computers. I must have pad and pen. Then I transfer to the computer to edit and rewrite–the laptop works better for me, mostly because I can move it to a comfy spot.

  3. We don’t think you’re stupid, we just think you’re weird! (KIDDING…mostly)

    To answer the question, my anti-distraction techniques for writing or schoolwork or any other task that I need to focus on are as follows:
    1. I check everything…all twitter, facebook, and email outlets and take as long as necessary to get myself up to date.
    2. Once I know that I’m not “missing out” on anything, I sit down and get myself ready to write/work. One important point: if there is ANYTHING that is keeping me from focusing, I give in to it. I find that if I don’t, it just makes me crazy and I get nothing done. This is different for everyone, of course, but for me, that’s how it works.
    3. I focus on my writing or school for as long as I can, and then, when I’m starting to wonder what someone just posted on twitter or if someone commented on my facebook status, I take a break, check twitter, check facebook, and then return to what I’m doing.
    So, my methods aren’t exactly fail-safe, but the summary of all that is: I work best by giving myself small rewards for focus, instead of forcing myself to focus endlessly.
    Great blog post, Gretchen! 🙂

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