How to Focus on Writing When Your Cat is Peeing on the Kitchen Table
I only write when I’m focused and concentrated, and I only write when I’m comfortable. I used to try to write without any planning, but I can’t get the results I want if I’m not in the writing zone. When I’m in this writing zone, words just come at me with a tremendous speed. I love it. It feels like I can do it all day long. Nothing but write. Just me and my words. And, nothing can distract me, nothing. Not even our cat on the kitchen table. On the other hand, if I feel like I’m forced to write, I can’t seem to find the words anywhere. Not even if they were handed to me on a piece of paper. It’s so hard when that happens. But, because I’m planning, it doesn’t happen anymore.
I am planning to get in the writing zone
I plan my writing. Not only do I plan what I’m going to write, but I plan how I am going to write, and where I’m going to write, and what type of software I’m going to use to write. Sometimes I even use a pen and a paper, but nowadays, I mostly use three types of software. That’s WriteRoom, OmmWriter and iA Writer (my favorite). They all help me stay focused and get in the writing zone, even when my cat has jumped up on the table, is sniffing the food and ready to do some damage. I don’t notice.
There are always four things I do when I write. When I combine them, they keep me very focused and I don’t get distracted. Not by anything, not even the cat.
1. I only write what I want to write
I always keep writing no matter how bad I feel the structure is, and how bad I feel that the sentences are. I always just keep writing. It doesn’t matter. I always write until I have enough content. I never do any editing or adjustments, I write at least five hundred words. When I feel that I have added everything, all the small details, I start the editing process. I never start editing before I’m finished adding the details. That’s important to me. If I started editing before I was finished with the content, I would spend a lot more time, and I wouldn’t get nearly as much done. My blog is about marketing, but that doesn’t keep me from writing about writing, or whatever personal journey I’m going through at the moment. That’s because right now, writing is what I want to be writing about. I always write what I want to write.
2. I never have any goals or deadlines
I have a lot of goals and deadlines, but not when it comes to writing. Some people have a goal of writing 1,000 words a day, other people have goals that they are going to finish writing one or two blog posts, or whatever they are writing. I never have any goals, other than write when I have the time to write, and write when I feel like writing, what I feel like writing, and just write in order to have fun. If I’m not having any fun, I won’t do any writing. I don’t see it as work, or something I need to do every single day (in order to get paid). If I did, it would be hard to have fun doing it. For instance, I didn’t write a single word yesterday.
I see writing as a way to escape. It’s a way to create another type of reality. It’s a way to create something that only I control. When I write I do everything on my own terms, and only when I feel like it. I’m in total control, and I’m loving it.
3. It’s in my head before I start writing
I usually don’t add a lot of notes. I usually don’t plan my posts several days ahead of time. But, I do my best to think about what I’m going to write before I sit down at the kitchen table and start writing. I can start the thinking process an hour before, a few minutes before, or even a few days before. It all depends. I work on the blog post in my head, I think about the different angles, and the different paragraphs. I even think about if I have written similar blog posts that I can link to, like when I wrote about the benefits of blogging while on vacation, yes, I actually thought about this before I started writing this post. I never think about all the details before I start writing, if I did, I wouldn’t be creative, and I wouldn’t have any fun writing. And to me, yes I know I’ve said this before, it’s all about having fun (and hopefully learning a thing or two while having fun).
What I’m actually saying is that writing is about passion. Not so much that I’m staying up late at night, writing thousands of words, like I’m obsessed with a story. Nah, it’s not like that. Not at all. It’s just about feeling good about what I’m doing. I guess that’s it.
4. I need the perfect word processor
I’m one of those guys that just can’t feel good about writing if I’m not using the perfect software. I just can’t use Microsoft Word when it comes to being creative, and do the actual writing. I can use it when it comes to adding details and editing, or adjusting the structure, but that’s it. I just can’t stay focused on writing, if I’m not entirely comfortable with what I’m looking at on the screen. That’s why I have tested, what to me feels like every single writing tool available on the Internet. I have finally ended up with the best three writing tools, and even though I have been switching from one to the other, because I couldn’t decide on which one I wanted to use, until recently. I want to show you exactly why I love iA Writer (Mac only), I think you’re in for a surprise. Take a look at the video below, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
It’s your turn
Do you have any techniques to help you focus on writing when the cat is peeing on the kitchen table? Or do you have to lock yourself inside the office in order to get anything done? I’d love to hear your opinion. Where, when and how do you write? And, do you use Microsoft Word or any other types of software? Let’s discuss in the comments.