Break the Pattern

You want to write, but distractions keep popping up to disrupt you when you actually sit down to do it. You want to establish a writing pattern, but it's almost more regular for you and the world around you to sabotage the time you've set aside for creativity. Break the pattern of distraction using a few key ideas.

1. Create an Exciting Goal

You need a touchstone to come back to when you get distracted. If you are writing an essay for a class you don't like or a story that someone else gave you an idea for, you might not be that excited. On the other hand, if you are hoping to publish an awesome novel based on an experience from your life that you want everybody and their mother to read, you are much more likely to keep focused on your project when little distractions crop up.

2. Get Out

Sometimes I feel like the Borg from the show "Star Trek: The Next Generation." I will work pretty well in a certain coffee shop or other quiet area for about a week or so until I figure out how to insert distractions into the mix and ruin the location. For example, I've gotten into and out of the trend of writing in my apartment so much, that it's almost impossible for me to ensure I'll get work done if I stay there. Get out of your apartment or house and try a coffee shop, library or other free Wi-Fi spot that will come with fewer distractions.

3. Block It Off

Make it clear to your loved ones, colleagues and social media folks that you will be busy during a certain window of time. I suggest turning off your phone, signing off of any online chatting tools and going to an undisclosed location so that nobody knows how or where to bug you.

4. Start Right Away

If you let yourself get into your pattern of checking e-mail, looking up the latest celebrity gossip and watching HD movie trailers before you get started, you will lose precious writing time. Open your word processor document or pull out your sheet of paper immediately to avoid any time loss while attempting to get into your creative zone.


It doesn't take much to break the pattern of procrastination and time wasting. You simply have to be firm with yourself and follow these four simple rules. Before long, you'll have started a concrete positive pattern to replace the old and counterproductive one. 

Done with Break the Pattern? Go back to Creative Writing Tips. 

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Written by Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on and Facebook.
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