How Successful Writers Push Past Distraction & Write Consistently

“You have permission to not write. But you don’t have permission to do anything else.” Neil Gaiman

Virtually everyone author that we admire struggles to write.

Neil Gaiman clarifies this in his interview with @TimFerris He sets aside time to write with no distractions. If he’s not feeling the urge to write, he doesn’t. But he can’t do anything else.


I love this. It reminds us that these authors we all put on pedestals have the same struggles that you and I have. These gods of prose are human.

This is a magnificent rule and one that I’ve decided to employ fully today. 

Creating a Space to Write and Be Creative

I prefer to work on my iPad.

It’s become my digital studio and typewriter.

I sit on my couch, removed from my desktop computer. The television stays off during the day. I’m home alone, just me and my mind. 

It’s perfect for creating, yet I still struggle.

Removing Distractions in the Digital Era

I’ve turned off all pop-up notifications on my iPad. But the “Notification Center” is still available with updates.

I find myself swiping down every 2-3 minutes to see what new thing has come through. I’ve already tried the “do not disturb” feature, but notifications still appear. 

It’s a compulsive behavior that I hate. 

One tweet thread leads to an article, which leads to amazon. Where was I? I can’t write today.

I had to fix this. So I dug into the settings and manually turned off all the notifications. All of them. 

There was some internal conflict. 

I was flinching. I could hear @naval in my head, “Notifications are just alarm clocks that someone else is setting for you.”

Screw that. I wrote this essay instead.

By Teevee Aguirre