It’s easy to become distracted during the summer months. Almost anything can distract you, if you allow it to. It can take a long time to learn how to focus on your writing in such a way that distractions will be minimized, if not avoided altogether. Most of us can learn to focus on one project and write for an hour, four to five days a week with a bit of planning. Distractions can take many different forms. We could be distracted by our children, spouses, family members, beautiful weather, or internet, phone and email. Limiting these distractions can be easy, if you take a few steps. Here are a few to consider. 1. Set an egg-timer I find that setting a timer helps a lot. I set it for, say, 30 minutes to an hour, and during that time, I don’t do anything but write. The timer gives me the structure I need to keep my eyes and mind on the manuscript that I am working on. 2. Do nothing but write during your allotted time Nothing, except an emergency, should move you to do anything else than write during your allotted time. If you are serious about writing, make sure that you actually write during your planned time. 3. Shut out all outside distractions before sitting down to write It is important for writers to shut off the ringer on the phone and cell phone during your allotted writing session. Do nothing but write. 4. Communicate your Writing Times To Your Family Tell your family what your writing schedule will be for the week. Then when you’re writing time comes, honour it so that your family can honor it too. Don’t be persuaded to do anything but write during those times. 5. Work on one project at a time Successful writers usually complete all their writing projects. They work diligently through discouragement and rejection. They also find a way to work consistently on a project until it is complete. Writers will usually hit a lot of distractions when they set out to write during the summer. This is to be expected and is very much a part of writing practise. Try not to give up and quit when the going gets tough. Just keep finding ways to write here and there, even if it is for short periods of time. It all adds up. I always encourage the writers who I coach to write as often as possible during the summer. They have all made a commitment to write every day, even if it is for a short time such as 15 minutes. You have no idea how much momentum and success this brings to your writing life until you try it. So, part of our motto is Write every day! And that is the promise we make to ourselves, as writers.