So Distracted I Forgot to Write About Writing Through Distractions!!!

So this is how Thursday went for me:

6am Yoga (yay! Got my exercise in)

7:30am Doing dishes leftover from last night when I was too. Tired.

8:00am Signed into work; how do we grow the bike movement today? (Note: still haven’t showered; Figure I’ll squeeze it in between meetings)

8:30am Text from Lyn: “Hi Ehsaneh – just wanted to remind you that today was your day to post about balancing writing with life and distractions :)”


Yes, dear reader, I’d completely completely FORGOTTEN that I had a blogpost due yesterday!!

Lyn and the rest of my Deb Sisters were incredibly gracious and forgiving about my totally dropping the ball and many jokes ensued about the irony of being so distracted I’d forgotten to write my blogpost about writing through distractions!

Well, now that I’ve proven my utter lack of credibility as a resource in this regard, here are my top tips for logging the word count even when life is throwing a lot at you:

1. Write on your phone! Why? Because in this day and age your phone is going to be with you wherever you go. Are you sitting in the car while your kid is at the dentist? Time to tap out a few paragraphs! Are you waiting to pick up a take out order of sushi? Write! Are you in the bathroom…wait, no, gross, don’t take your phone in there! 😉

2. Use Google Docs. Why? Because it will be a lot easier to swap between writing on your phone and those glorious times you actually get to work on a laptop. You can always switch from Google Docs to MS-Word when you’re ready. And here’s another hint: each new chapter should be a different Doc. Google Docs doesn’t do well with long manuscripts. Plus, you don’t want to spend the limited time you have scrolling through a long MS to find where you left off.

3. Write at least 15 minutes every single day! Why? It will keep the storyline fresh in your mind so when you do get a big chunk of time, you can dive right in without having to remind yourself where the story is at.

4. Write first thing in the morning. Why? There’s something special about that sleepy/wakey time where you can still sort of pull inspiration from the dream world. I try to get my first 15 minute writing session (on my phone) in before I even get out of bed.

Now, having said all that, there are going to be times when life throws so much at you that writing – even on your phone, even for only 15 minutes a day – slips. I’m in the midst of a rough patch now as I’ve been on a marketing learning curve since A Door Between Us came out. But as things are settling down, I’m looking forward to getting back in the groove and these tips will be helping me through. Hope they help you too!

(Not how I recommend you write…)

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Ehsaneh Sadr is an Iranian-American novelist and activist with a PhD in International Relations. She has worked, in various capacities, on campaigns related to Palestinian human rights, Iranian sanctions, access to credit for rural villagers, and safe spaces for children in crisis. She currently works with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition to create the cultural and infrastructure changes needed to support a shift away from carbon-based modes of transportation. Ehsaneh currently lives in Northern California with her husband and two children but also considers Washington DC, Salt Lake City, and Tehran to be home.