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Try this if you struggle to focus when you’re writing

I write the first drafts of everything in a text-editor app rather than a word processor.

Here’s why.

A text editor app is just me and my words. There’s no formatting to play with or other distractions.

Text files (with the extension .txt) are very small, just a few kilobytes. To compare, a Word file of just one sentence would be 50kB and it’s easy to have files of 1MB or more. Being so small, text files can easily and quickly be uploaded to a cloud storage service and be accessible from other devices including my smartphone. It becomes possible to work on the text at different times, in different places with different devices.

A text file is universal. If you use different devices you can use different apps to edit the text because the text is not in a proprietary format. I happen to use an app called Ulysses because it is available on all my devices. It managed the 150,000 words of my book manuscript just as well as my LinkedIn posts of fewer than 500 words.

The universality of text files has another big advantage. Once you have finished your draft the text can be copied and pasted into any word processing app, but also could be pasted into the body of an email or a text message or Slack or the content management system for a website and so on. As there is no formatting in the text there is no formatting to be screwed up by the transfer. You can’t be sure of that if you copy, for example, text from Word and paste it into an email.

I suggest you try this approach to your writing. You can start with the built-in apps: TextEdit on MacOS and Notepad on Windows. If you like it then you can do some research to find apps that will work on your devices

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