Why is it-everytime I sit down to write:
I think of my favorite song, a painting/photo/picture, my last vacation
My Pet wants to snuggle
The one person I've been trying to reach calls
I feel guilty for not getting my blogs done
Thank you notes, emails, FB, Twitter, every other form of writing calls to me, gives me creative, amazing words, and great ideas...
BUT I CAN'T FOCUS ON
My work in progress. My poor, neglected work in progress.
There are just a few scenes, finishing touches, clarifications, WORDS needed and I CAN'T focus...
The laundry has to be done, dinner has to be made, bills need to be paid, my favorite TV show is on - I've been waiting for it all week, FB comments are calling, Twitter is chirping, Email is dinging, I need to buy a gift for my friend right now or I'll forget, oh look--there's a sale.
AAGH! I can't focus!!
Fret no longer. You are part of a brother and sisterhood. There IS help!
Here are a few tips to help you save your own day:
1. Make a commitment with everyone in your life (except those sweet babies Ashley Clark, Laurie Tomlinson, Amy Leigh Simpson, and others) to let you have one solid uninterrupted hour. Some writers use the wee hours of the morning to write before the crew wakes. Then, when the little ones nap in the afternoon, nap with them.
2. Play soothing music. Preferably something that has no words. Ocean, forest, and other nature sounds. Music with a sweet relaxing tune and no words will transport you to that place, far away from the busy life.
3. Close the door. Put on sound canceling headphones--regular ones work also. Look at pictures of your characters. Drift away into your story world.
4. Turn off your Internet and the Wi-Fi/mobil data to your phone. This way you can still receive important calls. Just for an hour. God really will take care of running the world.
5. Talk to your characters. Tell them a joke, although the villain may not respond well (wink) Ask them what happens next. Reason out the answers with them (Be careful, sometimes character say ridiculous things. That's why you're the writer and they're not. And--characters love to play practical jokes. They may tee pee your computer.)
6. Drink something hot and soothing. Now that cooler days are coming this is a great way to settle down your mind. If you live in a warm climate, enjoy a cool, refreshing glass of sweet tea, lemonade, flavored water, etc.
7. Sit in your chair and type or SIT IN YOUR CHAIR AND TYPE.
The above suggestions assume the distraction issue is TOO MUCH going on to focus.
If, on the other hand, your problem is a SLOTH BUG has crawled into your head:
1. Do number one above.
2. Play music with a beat. Something with no words to sing along.
3. Set a word count then promise yourself an award for after you finish.
4. When you go to bed, review the scene you wrote that day. No matter how much was done. Review what you wrote. Think about it. Close your eyes and put yourself in the scene as a secondary character.
What do you see?
What did you hear?
What did you smell?
What did you taste?
What crazy mistake did your MC or hero make?
This, probably, more than anything will be your biggest help. When you wake the next morning the scene will make sense, words will ache to be written.
How do I know?
No, the credit doesn't belong to me for this one. I've heard more than one successful full-time author say their personal rule is: Set a word limit each day. Stop writing when the limit is reached. Then allow the next scene to play in the mind as the rest of the day continues. That night, let the characters get into trouble, duke it out, vent, cry, laugh, sing, whatever.
The next morning, guess what--yep, the words flow again.
We can't expect to go to our computer at whatever time, sit down, and expect magic. We need to think about the story.
Think about your story.
Think about your story.
So...what happened in the last scene of your story? Ten seconds. Quick. Say it.
Good. Let those words sway in your head for a period of time. Are they swaying?
Are you swaying?
When you're ready, leap back to your computer and write what really happened next. Go for it. One hundred words. Or go for the gold, one thousand words. See how close you can get today.
If you need to stop, record how many words you wrote and the date. Keep a running log and reward yourself for landmark progress.
Last, let us know how you're doing. We'll cheer with you and applaud.
What questions do you have?
How can we help you?
I can't wait to read your comment(s)!
Mary writes young adult mystery/suspense Christian fiction, is honing marketing and writing skills, and loves to pen missionary and Bible adventure stories on her ministry blog, God Loves Kids. She has finaled in several writing contests.