Employ this post to rate your focus level or take it from Zero to a hundred if you like.
Let’s say you’ve read a thousand posts or books on focus and yet no head way.
The internet is a major villain.
Television, movies, social hangouts etc
You name it. You know better what steals your adequate focus on writing.
Even when writing, your own thoughts – when you think of previous happenings in your day, a heavy mind or a day ready to be choked with activities etc- can pose as a distraction.
Here’s the interesting part, tending to the question of what to write too can wiggle you off.
Let’s say, you have a theme as a prompt, or you don’t. You’ll be torn between making it into a poem or a fiction story or you can go on. You know better how this goes with you.
DON’T GIVE UP.
FOCUS IS AN ISSUE FOR MOST CREATIVES
So you know, you are not alone in this. You understand that feeling of not being alone in this. Now a smile can emerge as you feel relieved with this fact.
From making decisions about what to write and how to write it and which way will work better etc you’re tackling the focus issue.
This is the reason this can’t be ignored.
If you’re going to tackle this, then here’s there 9 salient points you need to digest to guide you.
Let’s begin from the Rear to Front.
9. COMBINE YOUR IDEAS
This doesn’t sound like a good start for someone who wants to focus on one story. It’s perfect to categorize your writing. This will help you stay focused on one story but for a story inspiration to be saddled enough to warrant enough attention, it needs to be rich in contexts and subcontexts.
You want to remain absorbed in writing one piece till you’re done so you need a heavy dose of inspiration for that.
First, research enough about the area, finding plots and subplots to write about around your topic.
If you feel you just need to better your writing further, then focus a bit on that area but don’t lose focus at all on your writing area.
8. START, ACTION!
After you’ve committed to what you want to write it’s best you get to work. Writers write. Feel the pen or keys and start something. Always leave editing for later.
You can always edit what you’ve written but if there’s nothing done, then there’ll be nothing to edit.
7. GET AFFIRMATIONS THAT KEEP YOU GLUED.
Affirmations supplies you with strong reasons for writing. Good reasons for the why behind it like; “I have a story burning inside me”, or “Writing is my passion” etc
Affirmations are positives you keep declaring like, “I never run out of words”, “I amass lots of creative ideas” etc
This makes your muse work for you. You want your muse to work for you so make it work. Make it show up at a fixed time everyday and give you feedback.
6. BE S.M.A.R.T
Smart is a mnemonic that spells
Specific, Measurable,Achievable, Relevant and Time bound.
To concentrate adequately, you need to be more specific about what you want to achieve. The more you are clear about your writing, the less unwavering you’ll be.
Quantify what it is you want to acheive. Writing a certain Word count per day or writing for specific minutes or hours.
An achievable approach can be to write at least 500 words in 30 minutes. This immediately pulls you in and prevents you from derailing from your article.
5. GET IN THE FLOW
It’s hard to be distracted when there’s a strong flow. To get your creativity out, engage in free writing exercises for a few minutes to get you into the stream of consciousness mood.
Accept distractions while you do this. The trick is to take note when this happens so you can remind yourself why you need to get back to track.
Constantly, remind yourself of why you’re writing this in the first place. You may have a target to meet or a book to be published in a few months.
Refer to the previous point if you wish or proceed to the top of the list.
4. DEAL WITH THE MOST DIFFICULT THINGS, FIRST.
And eliminate more distractions. The longer it gets, the intense the pressure to deviate arises, so deal with the harder ones first.
Tell yourself, ‘Let me just finish plotting before I take a break’ or set a time, ‘I’ll do 10 minutes then, break for 5 minutes but ensure I come back!’
Hey, I just saw an interesting post I wrote, it won’t hurt to read it to get more inspiration. It would, just put it down and continue till you achieve your target.
3. BEFRIEND YOUR REMINDER
If you are saying, ‘I want to write at least two chapters’, then, calculate the word count and time it will take you to do so.
Recall, you’ve planned out and you know WHY you are doing this in the first place.
The reminder serves as a check on your progress and goals. Remember S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Timebound).
The reason why lot of writers plot.
If you feel plotting isn’t for you then at least plan and ensure you remind yourself of the WHY. Always keep your reminder close.
Frequently, scribble reminders to get you back to writing. These reminders could include more short notes, bullet points, collection of related posts that will trigger off your flow when you want to begin the next day.
They’ll remind you of where you left off and where you should continue. This helps most writers to save up time trying to figure out where they ended the previous day and where they should begin, today.
2. MAINTAIN YOUR ENERGY LEVEL
How? By taking short breaks. Oh wait you thought it’s just focus all the way? Hell no! You’ve got to scratch it sometimes.
This doesn’t mean you pause for longer hours. It means stretch your back. Do few minutes nibbling on fruits, nuts or drinking of water. You also want to check out your diet to ensure it’s giving you sufficient boost you crave.
This is to prevent your energy from dwindling. You want to stay focused so you’ll need to keep your morale high.
Remember, you are engaging your body, spirit and soul to it so get in the flow.
Now, slid to point one.
1. SET UP TIME TO PLAN
He who fails to plan; you know the rest. To ensure you stay focused, you’ll be taking up your writing as a project.
You will set out a time for it. This time should serve you with little or no distractions. Early hours of the morning when you aren’t curious about what response you got from your post on Facebook.
Late hours of the night when probably your followers are not online. You can then plan.
Planning should answer the question of What to write, what to research, which writing style to use, which P.O.V ie point of view is appropriate etc
If you’re working on one theme and and another pops up to say Hi, just don’t give it a high 5, show it a nice seat where it can wait in line.
By that, you jot it down and continue with the one you are working on.
Importantly, there’s no hard and fast rule to timing of your writing. You can choose to switch timing for convenience sake. Only ensure it doesn’t truncate your plan.
Check your calendar, clear up your busy schedules and keep seeking ways to free up more time to write.
Focus can be a daily battle. If you need more ways tackling it, drop a comment.