Recently, I saw a quote that said, "Being a good writer is 3% talent and 97% not being distracted by the internet."
Realistically, I think it's more than 3%, but the 97% seems about right. Yes, I know that more than 3% + 97% equals more than 100%. (I'm bad at math - but not that bad.) But the internet is so delightfully distracting, it often feels like it takes that much effort not to fall prey to its charms.
I mean, who doesn't want to check out the blogs of their favorite authors, or peruse Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Smashwords to see what new books look intriguing. Then there are the links a dear friend sends to me because she knows I'd be interested in reading the articles. I'm also guilty of looking at Pinterest for inspiration photos and getting sucked into the vortex of pretties. And let's not even talk about email distraction or the youtube links my kids send me. Most of these links are from my oldest son who says I suffer from Attention Deficit...Oh Shiny! That's a pretty apt description.
So how do I combat the shiny?
Mostly, I make deals with myself. I must write X number of words within an hour before I'm allowed to click one link. If I want to click another, I need to accomplish another word count goal. The same goes for checking email. If I go out to look at Pinterest, I set a timer. When it rings, I'm back to the manuscript.
Sometimes, I'll #wordwar on Twitter with writer friends. We post our hourly accomplishments and cheer each other on. Writing is a solitary activity, but it's helpful (not to mention motivating) to know that there are other people toiling away with you. It's sort of like making the internet work for you.
Occasionally, if I'm desperate and on a deadline, I'll just disable the internet on my computer. And it doesn't get turned back on until I reach a predetermined goal.
Figure out what works to keep yourself from being distracted and feel free to post some of your tips and tricks. Don't let this happen to you.