I was listening to an older episode of Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing and ran across an interview with Neil Gaiman. He noted the difficulty of writing when one’s computer offers so many avenues for distraction (from the internet to spider solitaire). He suggested switching the internet off or writing for a while with pen and paper.
Pen and paper.
Aside from taking notes in college, I haven’t really written fiction on paper since my teens. Sure, I’ve jotted down notes when a computer wasn’t available but even now I’m more likely to type up a note with the fiddly keys in smart phone. When I sat down today to tackle some early-stage revisions on a project I’ve neglected, I knew I was likely to fall prey to the computer’s distractions. So, I started on paper. As an approach, I highly recommend it. Paper offers little by way of other activity (doodling or making a grocery list are possible, but neither struck me as more entertaining than writing).
Getting away from the keyboard focused my attention so much that I’m going to keep a notepad next to my laptop from now on. I might even make a deliberate effort to improve my penmanship.