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Overcoming Writing Obstacles: 6 Strategies for Staying On Task

by Vervante •

Admit it.  You more than likely have some little Achilles heel. Whether it’s “Downton Abbey” or Facebook or some sort of App addiction (Angry Birds, anyone?), it’s innocent enough, right?

But what if it’s those very same diversions – or even mistaken assumptions – that are standing between you and your dreams? 
If you have a writing dream you’re just itching to share with the world, take stock of your opportunities then weigh them against the distractions or assumptions that are holding you back from OWNING those opportunities.

  1. Is fear your biggest obstacle? Often people, especially perfectionists, put things off, fearing they won’t meet expectations. A good cure: put your dream in writing, set daily goals, and find a trusted friend or mentor to cheer you on and help you hold yourself accountable. 
  2. Can’t find time to write? Just do it! Success expert Brian Tracy said the greatest key to success is self-discipline. “It is the difference in winning or losing; between greatness and mediocrity.”  If you really want to write, make writing your job. Pen it into your daily schedule -- with exclamation points! Schedule it like an important appointment. And when it’s time to “clock in” plan to stay put for some serious butt-glued-to-the-chair writing.
  3. Is too much structure a roadblock to your creativity? If the rebel in you requires a brainless “mindsuck” every once in a while, building downtime into your writing schedule should help you stay focused while allowing the freedom and flexibility your free spirit craves.
  4. Is electronic media standing in your way? Unplug! (Your dream is worth it!) Turn off the phone or tablet. Disconnect the Internet. Set a goal to check email, the news, or social media accounts only after you’ve met your productivity goals for the day or a set time period.
  5. Too many interruptions? If you find your writing going nowhere due to distractions from friends and family, take control! Put a sign on your door or a message on your voicemail telling the world you’re hard at work. If that’s not enough, co-op a little babysitting/petsitting trade-off with a family member or neighbor or offer older kids a reward if they’ll hole themselves up elsewhere in the house to allow you at least 30 to 60 of uninterrupted writing time.
  6. Plagued with too many ideas? Don’t overdo it! Cramming too many topics into a writing session can hamper the free flow of thought and interfere with your ability to produce high-quality work. Do yourself a favor (and save a headache!) by limiting yourself to just one subject per writing session. Your non-exploding brain will thank you.

By implementing these strategies, not only will you be amazed at your increased productivity and zest for writing, you’ll also develop greater confidence in your ability to meet your goals and achieve your writing dream.