Using a Pen and Paper to Avoid Distraction

In this video, I talk about how writing with a pen and paper can get the juices flowing when you’re stuck.

If you have “writer’s block”, sometimes it’s best to remove yourself from the computer and start writing on paper.

I find it easier to get into “flow” when writing on paper than typing on a computer. I think it’s because I try to edit while writing, whereas when you write on paper, you can’t revise.

You can’t delete the last sentence and start again; this helps me get into “flow”.


All right, I think we are ready. Hello and welcome to Vlog 1. My name is Ivan. And in this vlog I want to talk about tips and tricks that I have learned running a blog, okay?

So for people who don’t know I run a Drupal blog over at, and for the last five years I’ve produced a lot of blog posts and videos, and quite frankly I want to start talking about other things other than Drupal.

And so the best way of doing it I think it is to produce a vlog. Because also vlogs don’t require my … you don’t have to sit down for hours writing content for a vlog. I have literally grabbed my bike, and I’m using my bike as a tripod and I’ll show it to you at the end of the video. But I literally just grabbed my bike, rode down to a nice section of a park, put the camera on, and I’ve just started recording.

Mind you this is probably the 5th or 10th take, but it’s all for fun. I really want to get better at producing video content. And the best way of doing that is to just sit down and produce content. So that is what I’m doing with this first vlog.

So I’ll probably keep … I do want to talk about how I started WebWash but that’s probably for another vlog. But the single tip that I’ll give you in this video, and I’ll try to keep this video short because I don’t want to talk about a lot of things, is that when you get stuck producing content and you just can’t find the right words and you are sitting there in front of a computer trying to figure out, “Okay, how do I write this, write the best sentence in the world?” And nothing’s coming. One thing I’ve realized that has really helped me focus is to use a good old notepad. And just write the introduction of your blog post on a notepad using a pen. And that’s it.

I don’t know why it works, but maybe it’s because when you are writing on a piece of paper you cannot go back and edit things. You can’t … you won’t be distracted by what’s on your screen, you won’t be distracted by what’s on your desk. So that’s the tip for today.

If you find it very distracting working in front of a computer and often I do because there’s so many things happening on a computer, you have all these notifications, and you have Slack. Don’t get me started about Slack, I’ll probably keep it for another vlog. But yes, Slack is the worst. It is the worst thing that’s happening … it is the worst thing to ever happen to workplaces I think. But anyway that’s for another video.

But yeah, first of all turn off all of your notifications, turn off all of your notifications on your mobile phone as well, and then grab a pen and paper and go sit down, away from computer. And trust me I’m sure ideas will start flowing. But what you have to do is just start writing, and then ideas will come out of nowhere hopefully and yeah, I just want to share that with you.

Anyway, thank you so much for watching the first video. If you want to get notified of all future videos, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel and I’ll try and do these videos every week. I say I’ll try, but I’ll try. Anyway, thank you so much for watching and I’ll catch you next time.

Okay, I promised I’ll show you the way. I’ve got this … let me just … Oh, no, I can’t switch cameras. So if you have a look there. I’ve got the little Joby here and I’ve got bike as a tripod. Pretty cool, huh?

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