Books for Writers

Reclaiming Your Writing Focus in a Distracting World

Indistractable by Nir Eyal

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Indistractable, by Nir Eyal

Bad News: We Can’t Blame Technology Alone

As you might expect, this book offers valuable guidance for how to “hack” the technologies in your life to protect your time and attention. With his deep understanding of how technologies and devices trigger our behavior, Eyal offers sound advice for taking control of your attention.

Dissatisfaction and discomfort dominate our brain’s default state, but we can use them to motivate us instead of defeat us.

Finding Traction

Distractions take hold when we don’t prioritize the work that is important to us. Like weeds in a garden, they thrive in the spaces that aren’t planted and tended.

“You can’t call something a distraction unless you know what it’s distracting you from.”

The opposite of distraction, writes Eyal, is traction — the actions that move us in the direction we want to go. For writers, these actions may include researching, planning, drafting, or revising.

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The opposite of distraction is traction.
  • Making time for traction (the things you value)
  • “Hacking back” external triggers (including, but not limited to, technology)
  • Preventing distraction with pacts

Advice for Workplace Writers

Distractions are harder to ignore when they are part of your job.

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The open floor plan office: Terrible for writers

Take-aways: Becoming an Indistractable Writer

Simple hacks aren’t enough. The deeper message of the book is that you should identify the work that matters (your traction) and plan for it. The book combines practical guidance, illustrative stories, supporting research, and a dash of inspiration for taking control of your attention.

Author, Writing Coach: Writing about Marketing, Technology, and Writing Itself (very meta). AnneJanzer.com

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