World of Words Posts

World of Words #5: Get Organized! Pt. II External Organization

World of Words #5

"External Organization and Minimizing Your Distractions"

Hello fellow writers!

This is part two of our post on organization and why it so important to writers. In our previous post we began exploring proactive organization and why it is essential to having a successful writing session. So now that we’ve taken care of our “internal” organization, let’s address our “external” organization because the two go hand-in-hand and you can’t have one without the other.

So let’s start with our bodies. I suppose this part could technically be classified as either “internal” or “external” organization, but for this particular post, we’ll put it under “external” organization. Are your body and mind physically prepared to write? Did you get enough rest the night before? This is crucial because everything starts and ends with our mental and physical readiness. If you are too tired to think or sit in front of your computer screen then what’s the point of even starting this session? Also, are you hungry? Did you eat? Do you have a snack with you so that you can eat and still work? Also, are you thirsty? Do you have something to drink there with you? Do you have to use the restroom? Try to take care of nature’s call beforehand, if possible.

All of these things factor into completing the mission at hand. Imagine that you are just getting into your flow and then your eyelids get heavy because you aren’t properly rested? Or your stomach starts to growl and you have to get up and go and get something to eat? Or your bladder decided to interrupt you before you reach a good stopping point? True all of these things could happen in spite of your best efforts to prepare beforehand, but we can minimize these potential distractions by addressing them before we sit down to begin writing. Think about how much more productive we can be as writers by taking a few minutes to use the restroom and to make sure we have something to eat and drink at the ready and as a result, hopefully eliminating these needs from happening during our session.

Also, let’s talk about our CELL PHONES! If you are anything like me, your cell phone is probably something like your lifeline and probably the biggest distraction of all. How many times during the day do we pick up our phone without even thinking? Be it to surf the ‘net, check a social media account, play a game, or just fiddle around mindlessly. As great as cell phones and tablets are, they can be absolutely toxic to our productivity and rhythm during our writing sessions. Text messages, IMs, and status updates can derail your focus just as easily as a knock at the door and the ringing of the telephone.

What about family and friends and your environment? Have you placed yourself in an environment that offers you enough isolation? Do you have enough privacy? Do your family and friends understand your writing life enough to leave you alone for a while? Or can you at least ignore them long enough to have a productive writing session?

There are a million other distractions that we can list…we could go on and on, but the truth of the matter is that the biggest obstacle and distraction each of us will encounter is a lack of discipline. As writers, we MUST have the discipline to minimize distractions, overcome obstacles, and push-through the unexpected to achieve our goals. So let’s turn off or at least silence those cell phones, get our family, friends, and even pets to leave us be for a while, and let’s lock it in and get these words down on paper. Write your story like it’s the last chance you will ever have. Like the fate of mankind hinges on each of your words…write like your words will decide the battle between good and evil…

Ok, ok, ok…that’s a bit overboard…so how about this? Let’s all just WRITE HARD & WRITE WELL…  

Stay tuned for the next tip!