Landing : Athabascau University

Writing Away Distractions

Writing Away Distractions




2.) Identify a tip or tactic you already use—or have found out about elsewhere—and discuss why you think it works to help your writing practice.

One of Cory Doctorow’s tips mentioned in his 2009 blog article, “Writing in the Age of Distraction,” that I tend to follow when writing is “Kill the Word Processor.” Sure, I use Word document on my laptop when writing, but I am writing without any automated typesetting or correcting services: these are indeed distractions and can keep one back from freewriting. This is a great tip from Cory (2009), as I find that when writing nowadays – whether in Word, a blog on my professional Linkedin profile, or even a simple email, any of these supposed automatic “correcting” services are nothing but interruptions (helpful as they seem).

I am someone who is very aware of my surroundings – heightened senses if I may say, and therefore, in a world that is bombarding us with advertising, and information – and by way of every imagined means, a person has to discipline themselves greatly in keeping focussed – and on any task. The more control I have in my writing – without any sort of distraction, the better. For me, when writing, I find that it is best for me to keep any type of distraction – even so-called spell check and other “corrective” services away. I need to write and as freely as my mind wants to spill the words onto the paper – without anything getting in the way.

Interestingly though, Cory Doctorow mentions another tip he feels is useful in helping writers write without distraction: “Don’t be ceremonious” (2009). Here he is referring to one thinking that they have to have some perfectly silenced or soothing ambience in order to write – I am one of these people. I get easily distracted by people and their often times, careless and loud voices and actions. I am famous for having a fan on or “Chill Lounge” music on in the background and even having dim lighting. I simply “don’t do loud.” Now, Cory mentions that it is not helpful for us to convince ourselves that we can only write in these perfectly staged scenarios (2009) – and I was certain that all of this was conducive in helping me not only focus on writing – but write. But, somehow, when I ponder a bit, this specific tip from Cory, he is right. If I think I can only write when I “set the perfect stage” for me to perform, then sure enough, I surely will have convinced myself of this – perhaps like some self-fulfilling prophecy. Even though any of this may not seem like a specific distraction to my writing, it is something that I or someone else can do that may “prevent” or deter us from writing, therefore, another type of distraction – one created from oneself.

Works Cited:

Doctorow, C. (2019). Locus Online Features: Cory Doctorow: Writing in the Age of Distraction. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Sep. 2019].

Image Citation:

Wayman, A. (2019). Distraction-Free Writing is a Myth! - About Freelance Writing. [online] About Freelance Writing. Available at: [Accessed 27 Sep. 2019].




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