Tips For New Authors: Don’t Get Distracted – Unless

There’s nothing wrong with banging away at the keyboard on your Great American Novel and suddenly getting a hot new idea – and veering off to write a few thousand words on it.

Or 5000.

…Or 25 pages…

I got carried away!
I got carried away!

It happens to all of us. Take your inspiration when it comes. But be disciplined.

Create a new folder and a new document for every single good idea that comes to you, no matter when it comes. This may seem to fly the face of staying focused and disciplined and not getting distracted, but good ideas are good ideas. If you don’t scratch that itch, it will get worse and become a different kind of distraction. Who needs that?

I don't need that!
I don’t need that!

Besides, you never know when writers block may strike, or when you’ll be so completely frustrated with your current project that you need a little distraction. Going into some of those other folders will be a welcome relief – and will also remind you of just how creative you are.

Everyone has to figure out what system works for them. Some people can lock themselves away for 48 hours and do nothing but write. Other people – called “normal” – can’t do that.

If you take a one-hour or three-hour (or one or two day) distraction to write a 25 page mini -book that you can go ahead and publish – with another day spent doing a little bit of artwork for a simple cover – you may have released some pressure and satisfied an itch and allowed yourself to return to your real work without the frustration.

I did that when I put out “Night of the Colonoscopy” in the middle of trying to edit and publish “The Long Cutie” while also writing “FOURthcoming.”

This is good stuff. I'm in the zone!
This is good stuff. I’m in the zone!

That’s just how the creative process works sometimes.

Let it happen and be prepared for it; just have a system for it – and then get back to work. Unless you need to meet a hard deadline, there’s nothing wrong with attacking a big fat juicy story idea.

On the other hand, if your folder of Great Book Ideas is 10,000 pages long, you may have a different problem. It’s time to stop. You have lots of ideas; you don’t need more. See a few through to the finish line or stop pretending to be a writer. Or post them on your blog as fodder for other writers to have contests with. That can be fun and benefit you in a different way.

When you look back at the awesome ideas in that folder later, you’ll see that not every one was a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Some, you’ll even wonder why you wrote down. “Binkie’s Big Monkey Heist” only needed to make sense to you at the time. An itch that had to be scratched, nothing more.

And, once scratched, allowed you to refocus on the Great American Novel that I know is in you!



Enjoy my writing brilliance in all its glory on my Author Page HERE

and find out about the release of my new book “25 Great eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew” by emailing me at and I’ll let you know when you can get a free advance copy! Shh! Don’t tell.

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