Finding time to write can be a challenge, but scheduling it gets a little easier every day. Actually writing with that time you set aside however, can be herculean task that non-writers will never fully comprehend.

Outside Distractions

Just because you’ve decided that writing is your job, doesn’t mean that the world has decided to grind to a halt to accommodate you. As most authors will work out of their homes, their work too sits right on the front lines of life. This puts it in a constant tug-of-war with all the other things life asks and demands of you. If you plan on actually writing today the world says, it will be a fight.

Put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and prepare for an explosion of distractions. As soon as your first words form on paper, there will be a cat biting you or throwing toys at you. UPS will also choose this time to deliver a package and require your signature. Sit back down and pick up your pen and a strange car will decide to stop and idle suspiciously in front of your mailbox. This will also be the time when the neighbor’s dog runs over and starts digging up your yard, or your pen runs out of ink.

Should you manage to get through this flurry of outside interruptions, you might earn yourself a brief rest. The house is quiet, and for once, there is nothing to distract you from your work.

Internal Distractions

“Haha.” Your brain says. Another word begins to form on the paper when you remember you forgot to pay your credit card, or you forgot to take meat out of the freezer for dinner. No problem, you think, but thats before your brain really starts to churn.

There is no other time in life then when you’re sitting down to write that the brain is more capable of remembering every single detail of every non-writing related thing to ever cross your mind. This will be the time that song that was stuck in your head for a week dances its way back in. That news article you were going to research and forgot about a month ago? You’ll remember that too. In this span of time, everything you’ve ever forgotten will become instantly remembered, including the fact that you forgot to get paper towels at the store.

Seriously, if you ever win a spot on Jeopardy, bring a tablet and try and write while you’re on camera. You won’t get so much as a sentence down, but you will somehow know the answer to every single question. Maybe I’m cursed, but I swear trying to write puts me in a state just this side of clairvoyance.

Actually writing

Congratulations. You’ve waded through the distractions of life, and wrangled your brain into a calm, collected state. The time then has arrived to put pen to paper and start actually writing – Or so you thought. The brain that just a few moments ago was like Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange, and capable of remembering every minute detail about any song, story, lyric, or movie, has now completely checked out.

It is at this moment that you also realize that the world has completely left you to your own devices – There is not a single distraction anywhere, just a deafening silence and mockingly serene surroundings. There is literally nothing else to do in this moment but write, and you can’t seem to get a single word down.

The universe has granted you your wish. You are a shipwrecked castaway on a desert island without even a can-opener to your name, and the tide has washed in a 2-ton pallet of canned Spam.

After ten crumpled sheets of paper that result from an hour of literary flailing, you finally find your zen. The words suddenly begin to flow from pen to the page as if you were possessed by Isaac Asimov himself. The story is writing itself and you feel like an absolute rock star… And then you look up and realize it’s time to get started on dinner… Somehow, the day has disappeared and you only have a page or two to show for it.

Well, there’s always tomorrow, right?

A Writing System Is Essential Self-Publishing Is A Lesson In Itself