As long as grocery lists, notes to teachers, doodling done in meetings at work to keep you looking alert, checkbook notations, e-mail, IMs, and text messaging are included, we can all manage this one.
2) Schedule your writing
For full time writers, this is called "being awake." For most people "setting aside time each day when you can "sit quietly and write without distraction" is called "fantasy" or "over-medication."
3) Work on several writing projects simultaneously. If you get stuck on one, switch to another.
For those who work on deadlines this can be referred to as "unemployment" and for freelancers, the synonym might be "starvation." Just call up your editors and let them know you'll be working on a libretto for an operetta for a few days and that you will get right back their project as soon as you feel refreshed.
4) Keep a journal.
If you have a particularly interesting private life, make sure you include names, dates, evidence, and other pertinent entries. Eventually your journal can be used for extremely lucrative writing projects.
This way lies madness -- or at least distraction. I read much better than I write. Given the chance I would probably do only the former rather than the latter.
6) Freewriting/stream of consciousness writing/putting down whatever comes to mind.
Okay. I'm writing, no really it is typing, no really this is keyboarding - although "keyboard" originally just meant the mechanism for pianos and organs -- just anything that comes to mind right now. Look like the cat wants in but I don't want to stop the flow. That's right. These words just keep coming the phone's ringing...where was I oh yes, just streaming my consciousness...oh all right already, stop pawing the window, I'll let you in...
7) Get some physical exercise.
Another one we can all do, providing the definition of "exercise" is broad enough and sports like the upstairs/downstairs laundry run and grocery cart marathon, the copying machine squat-and-repair, and the desk chair rolling event are counted.
Relax? Relax! I AM relaxed! How much more RELAXED do you want? This IS relaxed. For those of you not quite as naturally relaxed as I am, be careful how you attain this state. In the October 1987 issue of the "American Journal of Psychiatry", Nancy J. Andreasen, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa with a PhD in English, published a 15-year study that found that 30 percent of the writers she studied were alcoholics, compared with seven percent in the comparison group of nonwriters.
9) Try writing in a totally different environment.
This, of course, assumes that you are either using a writing utensil and paper (maybe that notebook you are supposed to carry around at all times) or a laptop computer. I don't think moving your desk eight inches or shifting the angle of your screen counts as "totally different." For those of you who *do* go out to your local bistro or coffee shop to write, you can't always expect to be warmly welcomed day after day if you occupy a table for hours without buying anything.
10) Go out and observe people, note their mannerisms and listen to snippets of their conversation.
This is often combined with # 6 or #8, although I see great possibilities if combined with #4. Others may see these possibilities as well and your life could be endangered.
Click the pic for where this subject is from originally