5 Things That Will Focus Your Blogging Time

Getting focused and actually doing something is an ambition I have every hour of every day and when I sit down at #Writeclub every week I use these tools and methods to get going.

1. Focus At Will:

This is a website with a timer, music with no words. There are also cafe sounds, drum beats, classical music, ambient music and hard house in their repertoire.

I started using Focus At Will five years ago when Srinivas Rao mentioned it on his (then) podcast BlogcastFM.

I quickly worked out that I spent too much deciding between Spotify, iTunes or YouTube and once I got that far still I had to decide to pick what I was going to listen too!

Also, Focus At Will music does not bring back memories of old girlfriends or boyfriends who broke your heart, you just open a tab, set a timer and hit play.

You can also try both Brain.fm or noisli.com which also has a place to write in online.

2. Ulysses:

This is an iOS only writing App, (sorry I know that is of bugger all use to people on other platforms) It is arranged in folders and opens up in on a full-screen page to write.

No annoying toolbars or resizing and it has a night mode so you can have white text and a dark background. What works for me is that you can use it without an internet connection (I am a sucker for a quick look at nothing) and you can format and post directly to Wordpress or Medium.

It could have a tag line of ‘no more £ucking around’. I also like that it syncs between devices so I can start something and then carry on writing on my cell phone.

There are times when I have to go for a walk to wake up and this means I can just go and then sit on a bench and finish what I was doing.

3. Know What You Are Going To Write About:

Of course, this sounds obvious but so does ‘how to lose weight’ — you just eat less and exercise more.

I picked this idea up in Rachel Aaron’s book 2K to 10k (99p on Kindle) and her BIG writing tip? Know what you are going to write before you start.

That could be ‘I will write a blog on the price of bananas in London after the 2012 Olympics’ or ‘today I will write how Rupert falls in love with Terri in chapter 5’ — when this is set your head is ready (or at least nearly ready) to go.

Pro tip — resist the temptation to over plan everything in order to know what you will write when you sit down, you are looking for an idea not the actual order of words and where the punctuation marks will be.

4. Grammarly:

The @Work Hubs Write Club are HUGE fans of Grammarly.

This app works just about EVERYWHERE you write online, blogs, facebook, email and documents — don’t get too excited it does not work in Google Docs!

I am full of dyslexia and the Grammarly app has been a life changer for me.

I use the free version which is more than enough fun, there is a paid version that seeks out more comprehensive errors.

5. Set a word count for yourself:

In a fun way. I was very against counting words and was convinced it crippled my creative flair and juices, it actually helps.

I am tempted to write ‘I find’ in a rather no committal way — when what I really mean is that I am certain that counting words enable me to build ‘writing muscle’ and be aware when I have started to write bollox or have started day dreaming.

(Both Ulysses and Grammarly come with a word count tracker)

I wrote over 1.5 million words that were tracked by Grammarly in 2016

I keep writing all day, I look at it like being a sportsperson who is always training and looking build both skill and muscle — that is probably the only sports comparison you’ll hear from me — ever.

Every Wednesday and Thursday you can join in London Bloggers Meet Up or Write Club Meet Up for some focused writing time @Work Hubs in Euston, London.

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