Part of being a writer is… you know… actually writing. But I rarely meet a writer who finds it easy to fight against procrastination and focus wholeheartedly on their project without getting distracted. Often, a large part of writing is the stuff that comes before—the not-writing.

I mean, really, can you call yourself a writer if you don't overcome all the obstacles and distractions that stand between you and your work? I don't think so!

1. Create a long playlist.

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You're going to be writing for several hours, and each song has to align with the plot and scenes of each chapter while fitting with the tone of the story. This means that your playlist needs to be carefully selected and rearranged. Several times over, perhaps.

2. Grab a snack.

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You're going to be writing for a long time, and you're going to get hungry…

3. Research more.

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How do you say this word in another language? Or is it possible to jump from the second floor of a building without being injured in the process? You'll have to do some digging on the web to confirm the answers, even if you already have a concise Word document filled with research.

4. Hop onto Pinterest.

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You still haven't figured out a character, so why not make an aesthetic board to figure them out? (Warning: you will fall down the Pinterest hole. Exercise caution.)

5. Talk to your friends about your project.

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Yes, spend all that time talking about your story instead of actually writing it.

6. Debate over which font to use.

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Times New Roman makes you feel like you're writing a high school paper, but Comic Sans looks like it is meant for children. Sigh.

7. Check your social media.

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It's been a minute since you last checked it. Maybe something has happened since then.

If you're a writer, then listen to me: just start writing. I know it feels impossible at times, especially when the words aren't flowing right and everything around you seems to be a mess. But there is no way you'll be able to tell the story if you don't fill the pages, and even if they're terrible and the first draft is a wreck, at least you have something to work with.

Just keep writing.