At the time of writing, the top two trending articles on Buzzfeed are: ‘15 Struggles You’ll Only Understand If You’re Obsessed With Cereal’ and ‘The 15 Emotional Stages of Mobile Phone Ownership’. It’s safe to say that Cal Newport, author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, hasn’t read either.
Distractions like social media are enemy number one for the writer determined to finish. But distractions are only distracting because we let them – because they interrupt us when we’d rather be concentrating on the task in hand. Here’s our 5-step guide to keeping focused and beating your creative distractions.
Starting a new creative project is such a buzz, but sticking with it sucks. Some people seem blessed with marathon-level endurance needed to complete long-term goals while the rest of us flit from idea to idea. But, take heart! Research shows that perseverance isn’t something you’re born with, it’s possible for all of us to develop grit. Here’s how.
What keeps us going as writers? Staring alone at the blank page doesn’t always work; sometimes it’s about targets and teamwork. Christine Cochrane and Divyam Chaya Bernstein are two writers who recently completed the daily writing challenge NaPoWriMo. They tell us how they supported each other along the way.
Being creative makes us happy – that’s true – but not just because we just enjoy dreaming up new ideas and having flights of fancy. In fact, research tells us that what we really love about creativity is the daily drudgery – the slow and frequently painful trudge towards getting it done and mastering our creative persuit.
David Quantick is an Emmy-winning television writer, a radio broadcaster, novelist, journalist and author of the best-selling writing manual How To Write Everything. He has just published How To Be A Writer which features interviews with famous writers, performers and industry insiders including Jon Ronson, Emma Donoghue and Caitlin Moran. Here he interviews himself with questions selected at random from the book.
“I hate writing, I love having written,” goes the highly relatable quote by novelist Dorothy Parker. Whilst the creative turmoil of the writer is legendary – even necessary – tinkering with your motivational mindset can make your daily dose of writing torture more bearable. You might even have some fun…
There’s nothing like a moonshot to test your creativity. Writers of all stripes love big, bold challenges and research shows there’s significant benefits from stretching yourself. But how ambitious should you be when setting goals?
We tell ourselves many reasons why we’re not writing – or not writing as much or as often as we would like. Pick your reasons from the following list: work, family, social life, duties, distractions. But if you want to write and you’re not making writing a priority, there’s actually only a single reason – fear.
Creative people – and especially writers – aren’t famed for their boundless joy. Being creative can make us happy, but not normally in a wave-your-arms-in-the-air-like-you-just-don’t-care way. Unsurprisingly, science tells us that the link between happiness and creativity is ‘complicated’. But it also tells us that it’s a deeply human activity – and it’s perhaps that which keeps us hooked.