Distractions are the number one productivity killer for writers. Many writers blame “writer’s block,” but that’s really just a symptom of distractions. After all, writer’s block is easily defeated by, well, writing.
Distractions, however, can be harder to overcome. One moment your fingers are flying across the keyboard, the next you’re wondering what the most overused words are. (Yeah, that just happened. According to Grammarly via Google, the word “other” tops the list.)
Aside from the occasional napkin or back of a store receipt, many of us do the vast majority of our writing on a computer. Computers have web browsers. Web browsers lead to the bottomless pit of distraction, the internet. So how do we achieve distraction-free writing in this day and age?
Here are three tools, often found under $50 each, that can help you do just that.
- Pen — Yes, the pen is still mightier than the sword. That’s why it is the most readily available distraction-killer. It’s difficult to get distracted with a pen. Unless you’re prone to doodling. Recommendation: Spend $30 on a nice pen. Better yet, spend a little more on a fountain pen. That way you won’t feel like you’re just writing your shopping list.
- Typewriter — If a typewriter is good enough for Tom Hanks, it’s good enough for me. Every writer in the world ever envisions writing the next bestseller on a typewriter. With a little hunting (hint: thrift stores), you’ll even find one for the price of a good pen. Recommendation: Though it’s tempting to buy an antique manual typewriter that has a form factor not unlike a skeleton, you’ll get more bang for your buck with a more recent electric typewriter. Plus, you get the added bonus of saving yourself headaches from maintaining a 70-year old machine.
- Word Processor — Before the laptop computer, there was the word processor. Some offer features that are dangerously close to distraction territory, certainly. But there are many available that do nothing more than their assigned task. Recommendation: Sure, you can drop $600 on a modern-day, distraction-free writing tool. Or you could buy 24 AlphaSmart Neo2’s for about $25 each. The Neo2, specifically, features one of the most enjoyable typing experiences due to its touch.
So pick your poison. Any of these will kill distractions… and keep you writing.
NOTE: This article includes affiliate links. Affiliate links can lead to distraction. DO NOT CLICK ON THE AFFILIATE LINKS.