Can’t Stay Focused When Writing? Try These Tips!

It’s plain and simple: good writing requires good concentration. You cannot produce consistent, high quality work if you are constantly battling with interferences. When a writer acquires and retains focus, they can get a lot done, and much of it will be great. This is certainly a relief when working on deadline, something most every writer has to deal with at one time or another (or every day, depending on their occupation).

Do you have trouble attaining and maintaining that level of focus for more than a brief period at a time? Here are a couple of suggestions that might help to make things easier.

Hold Off on Your Research

The internet is a wonderful tool for research, but it’s even better when it comes to providing all manner of entertainment. Just as there are countless websites that will help you learn more about a historical period, than are many, many more that exist solely to provide distraction.

And distract they do—constantly. If your current work requires you to spend a significant amount of time doing online research, write around those parts and come back to them later. That way, your work will have less of a start and stop movement, meaning less impact on your flow. Mark the skipped text with something that is easily searchable, but will not necessarily match regular words (eg. **skip**) so that it can be quickly accessed when the time comes.

Switch Your Computer Settings

Many of us have instant messaging programs activated on our computers (and phones). They are great for letting us know when something new has happened, but their real purpose is to lure us into coming back…again and again and again. That can be unbelievably distracting, so make sure you disable these before you sit down to write. Think about every application that does this and shut them all down.

How to Help Your Children Become Better Writers

Some people are born with a love of writing and language, while others develop those through practice and feedback. If your child gravitates towards English and displays a natural interest in writing, that is a wonderful asset. Even if they don’t pursue writing as a career, a solid grasp of language will benefit them in almost any vocation and give them a real edge over the competition. People may be proficient with a computer, but that doesn’t automatically mean they know how to write. In fact, increasingly these days, it is often just the opposite.

If your child is struggling with their language studies, don’t worry, there is still hope. In addition to tutoring, here are some things you can do on your end to help them become better writers:

Make Writing a Family Activity

Children consider homework to be a burden, but if you can make writing into something everyone does, then that can help to lift the curse. In addition to helping them with their writing, demonstrate that writing is something that you like to do yourself. If a child sees you writing on a regular basis, that can raise their curiosity and make them more interested in learning how to do what their parents enjoy.

Be Helpful and Encouraging

These go without saying when working with your children, but are particularly useful with writing. Even if the child’s work has notable problems, point out the positive aspects and then offer constructive criticism on how the rest could be better.

Writing Activities

Children won’t be interested in writing if their work only consists of school assignments. Encourage them to write letters or birthday cards to family members and friends, party invitations for their friends, writing lists, etc. Making writing both fun and second nature will help to cultivate a love for it.