Write now, Surf Later

I’ve been busy with life as usual the last week, so I’m welcoming Angelita Williams to do a guest post on fighting online distractions. I think we writers could do with a few tips on those, and I love some of Angelita’s tips. Read on:

Write now, Surf Later

How to focus on writing

They’re everywhere–in the office, your children’s school, even inside your home. People tell you to stay away from them altogether. They’re bad for you.  They’ll hinder your creative juices. But their allure is tempting.

Once again they’ve seduced you with their all-too familiar phrase: just one click away. They are online distractions, foe to all writers. These focus killers are lethal and can kill your productivity levels. But they don’t necessarily have to be the reason why you still have blank pages. Here are a few basic tips that will help you complete your future award-winning book while allowing you to still indulge in your guilty pleasure, the Internet.

Realtime Communication. It’s imperative to log out of all applications that demand immediate attention including Instant Messaging, email alerts, RSS alerts, Skype dings, and Facebook chat bings. Basically anything that pops on to your screen that screams stop what you are doing right now and pay attention to me instead. Try telling your friends to email or schedule a voice or video chat at a specific time. It’s less intrusive and you can do it on your time, not theirs. This way you can stay focused on what truly matters–your writing.

Old-School Research. Children born after 1999 don’t even know what a world without the Internet looks like, but you do. Need to do research for your book? Try your very best not to Google it. Get away from your computer and go to the library to find your information. Sometimes it can be inspiring and it’s more likely that printed information will be accurate.

Set Goals. Set a reasonable daily word goal. Dedicate yourself to writing a certain amount of pages everyday and do absolutely nothing else but write. Something simple like two to three pages in intervals of twenty to thirty minutes works best. The key is to do this everyday and condition yourself to just writing for that time frame. That way you are being productive and still have time to play or browse the Internet afterwards if you wish.

Breaks.  Mandatory. After all, you have to eat, stretch and relax your mind. But if you find yourself taking too many of them, try using a dashboard timer that freezes your computer screen and tells you to “Take a break” the last 10 minutes of every hour. It will allow you time to check email, Twitter, Facebook or do whatever you’d like. Chances are you’ll write more and be productive knowing that those 10 minutes will come eventually.

Last Resort. If you just can’t seem to stay away, going cold turkey is an option. Whether it’s unplugging your network cable, turning off your modem or switching off the wifi-channel, you can make the Internet go away. Don’t feel comfortable turning everything completely off? Then trick yourself into believing that you have. No matter what operating system your computer runs on, there are special programs designed to block out online distractions. These programs provide you with a black screen with colored text which expands to cover your task bars, docks, and your entire desktop, providing a distraction free, writing environment.

It’s important to know that a little distraction isn’t always harmful. As long as you only indulge in moderation, your novel will be completed soon enough.


This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams who welcomes your comments at her email : angelita.williams7 @gmail.com.

Book Launch, Reading and Writing Binge, iPad

Life is crazy

Things are crazy!

I’m quite flummoxed by how so many days slip past before I think of posting on this blog.

I’m better at posting on Amlokiblogs these days.

Even when I post here, I’m just so engrossed in my life right now, that all I can come up with is a list:

1.I’m going for my first ever book launch where I’m going to be one of the authors, for Love and Lust in Singapore.

2. This is giving me a lot of butterflies.

3. To calm said butterflies, I’m reading.

4. I’ve read at least 4 books in the past week, which is high even by my standards. One of those had 600-odd pages.

5. I’ve been gifted an iPad, so I have more unread books than ever now.

6. I’ frustrated by how I can only browse and comment on the iPad, touchscreen writing is not my forte, except in very limited amounts.

7. I’m still blogfesting like crazy.

8. All this reading, writing, blogfesting has got to me. A stubborn, niggling flu has not helped either.

9. On a more cheerful note, my betta is eating again, and is thriving. Apparently had good reason to go on a fast…it had experienced radical changes in water temperature. I live and learn.

10. I wanted to end on a happy note, so my earlier point was my last one. But it feels better to have 10 points to a list, so there.

See you peeps again when I’m feeling less crazy…

Spoilt Betta

Blue Betta Splenden

Blue Siamese

My Blue Betta Splenden would not eat. It spits out the pellets especially formulated for Bettas, which were his favorite, won’t even look at any other type of flake or granule.

My research in books and the internet tells me it is merely spoilt, acting up, and will eat as soon as it is hungry. Bettas can apparently go for weeks without food.

Mine hasn’t eaten in a week now, and looks just a tiny bit smaller, or it is my imagination, maybe. I can’t believe it isn’t hungry. It used to eat up to eight pellets a day (yes, I kept count *blush*) and now it hasn’t eaten any in eight days.

Tomorrow, I go in search of different food types, see what I can tempt him with. Sigh,a  2-inch fish is stringing my along by the nose, and I’m hoping it is indeed stringing me along and not actually sick.

Does anyone else obsess over their pets as I do?

Blogfesting the Past Weeks

Blogfesting is fun!

Fun with Blogfests

Blogfesting has been awesome the past weeks, and despite my desperate schedule, I’ve managed to fit in four!

I had fun doing those, and wish I could do them on this blog, but most of the participating writers use Blogger, and it seemed to be the only choice if I wanted this to work well.

I want everyone to join in the fun though, so here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been doing and where I’ve been.

Guess That Character Blogfest, hosted by Jennifer Daiker on 19th and 20th August. This was my entry.

What I like about Guess that Character is that the initial post will not describe the character’s appearance, just put him/her in a scene, and let you hear his voice or watch his actions.

The next day is the day of the big reveal, where you post a photograph that closely approximates, in your opinion, the character you wrote on the first day. Interesting!

The Rainy Day Blogfest
, hosted by Christine H on 25th August. This was my entry.

The Rainy Day Blogfest gave me a chance to indulge in my love of rain, and everyone came up with absolutely rain-drenched posts.

Word Paint Blogfest hosted by Dawn Embers on 27th August. This was my entry.

This was all about description,  which I love, so I took out something from my notebooks chock-full of those, and published it!

Fairy Tale Blogfest
hosted by Emily White on 30th August. This was my entry.

This is best described in the host’s own words:

Write in no more than 1000 words a story based on a fairy tale in a genre OTHER than fantasy. You can do horror, suspense, sci-fi, thriller, etc. (romance is okay, but you need to add another genre with it, otherwise you’ll just end up with a fantasy romance), and the plot has to be closely related to the original tale.

Fight, Fight, Fight Blogfest, hosted by J.C. Martin on 31st august. This was my entry.

This one involved a fight-scene, and since I have not done too many of those, it was a challenge.

If you read some of the entries by other participants, you’ll know why I’m so hooked…they’re that GOOD.

If you’d like to join in the fun, here’s a list of upcoming blogfests.