4 min read

Distracted? Here's what I do. #ProlificAuthor #WritingHack #NaNoWriMo #greatstuff


You live a busy life so you have to plan your writing time.

But... the dog is sick and the kids are home and the partner is watching the baseball playoffs and that's not to mention the friend who wants to chat with you about nothing and really wouldn't you rather rest?

The battle is real.

As soon as you decide to do anything, your resistance is going to rear its ugly head.

This is particularly true when you write. If you take the risk to write something, anything, you know that someone else will read this shit.

You want it to be a best-seller.

Now you're wasted a time looking up what authors wear to award ceremonies. Will you lose weight before the award ceremony? Now, you're looking up diets. Oh wait, Lisa Scottoline goes on a "no-carb" diet before she goes on author tour? Maybe you should try that. And while you're at it, don't you need to work out? Get your teeth bleached?

And your writing time is gone. Shit.

I have written the Denver Cereal since June, 2008. Except for six months last year, I've produced at least a chapter a week for 13 years.

What that means is that no matter what is going on, I have a 3,000 word chapter to write. I've written chapters right after major surgery. I once wrote while I was desperately sick with the flu. I've written chapters in the middle of the night when things were too busy to write it during the week. I've written chapters in many different states of the United States. I've written Denver Cereal chapters when I'm in the middle of writing another book.

Most certainly, I've written chapters when the game was on, the dogs were crazy, there were forty other things I wanted to investigate, and I needed to rest. Everything became harder and more intense during the pandemic when the husband started working at home full time.

If you write a traditional serial fiction, you don't have an option to just skip a week.

What do I do to stay focused?

There are two distinct things that I do.

First, I head over to Brain.fm and choose a program under "Focus." Their audio system is backed by science and guaranteed to shift your brain in less than 10 minutes. It really works.

I've tried every other system you can imagine from Centerpointe tapes to other apps. This is the program that works the best for me.

There are also programs to help you get to sleep and stay to sleep. They have medication tracks and one of my favorites -- relax and recharge.

If I'm going to get work done, I get it done with Brain.fm. It's seriously great stuff. In less than 10 minutes, my distractions fade and my fingers are tapping over the keyboard.

The app on your phone is a little better than the one on the computer, so make sure you download the app.

If you'd like a 20% discount if you use the code: claudiahallchristian or click on this link.



Then, I read what I wrote last.

This can be a little tricky as it's possible to get immersed in what you wrote last and forget about moving forward in the story. Resistance rears it's ugly head when you're off looking for the perfect synonym for a word.

Use this re-read as a way of reminding yourself that you are capable. You wrote this last chapter or section. You can certainly write another chapter or two.

It's also a great way of filling yourself up with your own story. You came to writing this story because the story fell into your brain. If you're like most people, you began to write this particular story because you were full to the brim of story.

Your innate resistance and your memory of your third grade teacher telling you that 'You're too stupid to write," will drain this well of your story.

To refill the well, re-read what you were writing last.

Breathe and let the story return to fill you up again.

The last thing I do is to set a realistic goal.

If I need to have a minimum of 3000 words for a week's chapter, I need at least 500 words for a day's post.

I sit down and get started. If things are going slowly, I make sure that I get at least 500 words.

Once I'm started, I rarely stop at 500 words.

But 500 words is a good goal.

Most authors write between 1,000 and 3,000 words a day. Pick something. See how it goes for you.

Just make sure that you don't get up from your seat until you've finished all of your word goal. If you think you're done for the day, get up, stretch, drink some water, and then get back to it. Often just this minimal movement will remind you of what you want to write next.

Good luck! If you have questions about writing, let me know!

Back to brain.fm and my own work...