Personally, as a writer, I go through phases where I either have to make myself write and work on my stories or times when writing is all I want to do.
As of right now, I’m in a zone where I don’t want to do anything other than work on the two books I’m writing. This is good. Wanting to stay focused and engaged in your own writing is a great space to be in. However, when you don’t find yourself in that zone, it may be hard to get back into it.
When I’m finding it difficult to stay focused on my writing without getting distracted, there are a few things I try.
1. Look for feedback.
When writing a manuscript, any kind of feedback is extremely important. It can also help you drive toward wanting to work on your story. If you frequently send chapters or outlines to beta readers, this can not only help you improve your story, it can help your motivation. Receiving positive feedback on your work will motivate you to keep writing in hopes of receiving more positive feedback. If you discover that your feedback is more of constructive criticism, use this as motivation, too. These helpful tips you get is only meant to help you make your story even better than it already is. That should be enough drive to get you determined into wanting to receive great feedback. Although, the goal of your work shouldn’t be to just write a book that other people will like. You want to write a story you, yourself, are proud of. This feedback is just meant to help you build up your writing to a more professional level.
2. Get rid of distractions.
Put your phone down. Close out all of the tabs on your browser. If you are someone who can’t sit in silence, play some instrumental music. Don’t play music with lyrics in them. It can be distracting and you will find yourself wanting to sing along instead of writing your manuscript that is sitting in front of you. Grab a bottle of water or a cup of coffee to keep you satisfied for the next couple hours so you won’t have to leave your working space. Placing yourself in a place without any distractions is a great way to make sure you are focusing on your writing.
3. Look around for inspiration.
Maybe the main reason that you can’t stay engaged in your writing is the fact that you aren’t feeling inspired. Two ways that I have found to be successful in giving me inspiration is: reading through writing prompts and reading a random page in a random book. Going onto Pinterest and reading through different writing prompts helps me a lot. Most of the time the prompts will just be a line or two of dialogue. How can you use these in your story? Can you build a big scene out of them? Maybe even a whole plot? You’d be surprised at how helpful this can be in getting you determined on writing your story. Getting inspiration gets you excited, and once you are excited about developing your manuscript, you will find yourself completely engaged in it.