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Do you struggle to write blog posts when it’s noisy? Here are five practical tips to help.
It’s almost never quiet at my house. It’s not an out of control chaotic noise (at least not usually :D), but between the nine kids who live here, the roosters who free range close to the house and crow at all hours of the day, and the typical humming of appliances and all that, noise is a constant in my life.
If I could only write blog posts when it was quiet, I’d pretty much flop as a freelancer.
I’d have to wake up even earlier to squeeze in some writing time between milking the cows and the kids waking up. Or stay up until everyone else went to bed. Another option would be to leave the house entirely and work somewhere else.
I don’t like any of those options. So, I chose to be productive in the noise. I let the noise serve as a reminder of my why – why I started a freelance writing business in the first place.
And when I focus on my why, the noise fades into the background a bit. It becomes less annoying.
After making the decision to embrace the noise, I still had to learn how to be productive in it. Here are five tips that I’ve discovered that help me write a blog post when it’s noisy.
1. Prewrite First
I hate to admit it, but my high school English teachers were right. Prewriting is important. And it does help…
I never used to prewrite. I’d just jump straight in and start typing. But after becoming a freelance writer, I learned the importance of planning.
You see, when there are kids around, you’re probably going to be interrupted at some point.
Me sitting at the computer is pretty much a guarantee that the baby will poop, the toddler will fall and bump his leg, or the neighbor will spot a cougar trying to jump the cow fence (true story!)
It’s hard to get back to concentrating after an interruption, and you might find yourself wasting precious moments trying to remember what direction your blog post was supposed to be going in.
I’ve even had to scrap some initial thoughts when I come back to them, because I had no recollection of where I was supposed to go next.
But a prewrite can help prevent these problems. Interruptions are why outlines are essential.
They’re the skeleton of your writing. Without the skeleton, your structure won’t support itself. So don’t leave the bones out–get them done first. That way you can always know where you were going when you get back.
Take the time to write an outline for each post. It really does help you write faster!
2. Learn What Noises You Can Safely Ignore
I’m used to a certain level and type of noise. I’ll call this the baseline noise level in my home.
Those sounds? They’re the typical kids playing, clothes washing, ice making noises that I can safely ignore.
But, new or different sounds catch my attention. They are worth stopping my work for.
These noises could include:
- A car pulling up
- One of the kids screaming
- Something getting thrown down the stairs
- An unusual animal noise
- A shriek for mom
These noises? Those require investigation. They shouldn’t be ignored.
You will have to purposefully train your brain to ignore the background, baseline noise in your house. Start small if you need to.
One baby step is to start writing with the television turned on (but don’t sit where you can be distracted.) Then, practice focusing on your writing while tuning out the TV.
Focus your brain on what you’re doing, not on what is going on around you. Watch each letter appear on the screen, and draw your mind to the writing and not the background noises.
Purposefully ignoring the normal sounds goes a long way to becoming productive with noise!
You can get paid to write! If you’re thinking about starting a freelance writing business of your own, I highly recommend 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success. It’s the course that got me started…
3. Stick to Your Niches
The more confident and comfortable you are with the writing you’re doing, the easier it will be for you to write in the noise. If you’re really needing to concentrate, it’s not a good fit for writing in noise.
So save the research heavy posts for when the kids are sleeping. Or write them during quiet time. Then, write posts you’re more comfortable with when the kids are awake.
For me, those are posts about parenting, homesteading, small business, time management, or education. When I’m writing in those niches, my fingers fly on the keyboard. I can deal with way more noise before it starts bothering me, because I’m not having to try to comprehend new information and piece together content I’m not comfortable with.
But, when I’m branching out to new areas–my tension rope automatically shortens. I have to concentrate more, and I’m less able to do that in the noise.
So write as much as you can about topics you’re already knowledgeable about. When you’re trying to learn a new niche, or writing in a different format than normal, that’s when you might need more quiet.
4. Close Your Eyes
I don’t know about you, but I can drown out the noise a whole lot better when I close my eyes. If I’m just sitting and typing without needing to reference notes or anything, I tend to close my eyes.
I can get inside my own head more easily this way, and concentrate my thoughts on what I’m trying to get done.
It’s also a great way to become a faster typist.
Warning: If you’re really tired, I don’t recommend trying to type with your eyes shut. You may just find yourself with your head on your keyboard and five pages of random characters on the screen….Just saying…
5. Turn on Some Music
If it’s going to be noisy when you’re writing, you should at least put on some noise that you enjoy.
Try putting together a playlist of some music you love, and turning this on quietly while you work. It’ll help drown out some of that baseline noise, and help motivate you to get some work done.
Just don’t put on headphones if you’re the primary caregiver and currently watching your kids. They can get into trouble in an instant, and you need to be able to hear them. Instead, just turn the music on softly on your computer so you can hear it, but still hear what’s going on around you.
You Can Write Blog Posts When It’s Noisy
It will take some time to adjust, so don’t give up if you’re currently having trouble writing posts in the noise. Instead, just keep trying. You will eventually get used to it, and you’ll be able to be productive with the noise going on around you.
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.