Top 5 Easy Tasks That Even a Deeply Distracted (and Perhaps Anxious) Person Can Do for His or Her Writing Platform

Sarina here. I don’t know about you, but my concentration is shot. Delving into a brainy new project right now is just impossible. So yesterday I flipped to a page in my planner called “If there was time.” And I took on one of the little marketing projects I found there. I was productive for at LEAST ten minutes, I swear. 

If you’re too distracted to tackle that Big Idea I’ve got a list of short ones for you instead. 

  1. Do you have a website? Open it up today and look at the analytics. Which three pages are getting the most traffic? Now look at those three and determine if any of them are sorely out of date. If you’re like me, you’ll find something to fix immediately, like a label reading “coming in November 2019.” Edit that puppy and then give yourself a pat on the back. Bonus points if you also look at the analytics telling you where your traffic is coming from. Which social media platform is sending traffic your way? Which leads to…

  2. Write a social media post, or a blog post promoting someone else’s work. What’s the last book that you really enjoyed? Or a thoughtful article? If we can’t produce anything today, at least we can share our love for someone else’s work. And I’ve got $20 that says they’ll appreciate it more right this second than at any other time.

  3. Open your social media accounts one by one and check the bios. Are they up to date? Do the links work? You’ll almost certainly find something to fix or tweak. 

  4. Clean your desk. Okay, maybe it’s not fair to file this under easy tasks. But I promise it’s worth it. You will feel quite accomplished. And when your creative impulses finally return, you will have this tidy surface to enjoy.

  5. Make an index of your former brain. I’ll explain. Part of the stress surrounding back-burnered projects is the loss of momentum. When the world settles down, will you be able to remember why you wanted to write this thing in the first place? And will it still matter? Take a deep breath. The answer to both things is yes. But you’ll feel better if you do a little work right now to hold your place. Take a fresh sheet of paper (or a fresh digital document) and then make notes for all of the following things: 

What is the project’s working title? When do you hope to finish it? 

What is the name of the file where you have begun work?

If you’ve done research, make a note of where that is, too.

Where did you stop? If you remember what actions you meant to take next, jot those down. 

Finally—find a visual image that represents how you felt about this project. Pinterest is good for this. Plop that photo into your file to help you remember those feelings.

Hang in there, writers. Someday we’ll be back to worrying about big ideas and comma placement. I promise.

Kids, (KJ here) Top Fives (and #Minisodes) usually go out to podcast supporters, but we figured you all needed this one. I know I did. So thanks for subscribing, for listening, for giving us another reason to pull it all together so we can all pull together. We’re glad you’re here. And feel free to forward this wildly.