Monday, November 09, 2015

6 Tips to Stay Focused When You Write

You've probably noticed that I don't put my blog posts out on the same day every week.

Sometimes I may even miss a week without a putting a post out.

Like any writer one of the biggest struggles is staying focused on my writing.

Once you decide you want to write for a living you need to find your own way of writing and staying attentive.  No matter what is happening around you, you need to sit down and write.

To put it in a nutshell:
  • A half finished manuscript won't make a good story.
  • Half drawn blueprint won't make a well built house.
  • Half drawn painting won't make it into an art gallery

In order to make an impact you have to make sure you're writing on a regular basis. 

Writing like any other type of creative work requires discipline to get you to the finish line.  Stay motivated with the following tricks:
  • Set a goal and stick to it
Set an attainable goal such as writing in the morning/evening.  If you can't manage writing everyday try setting a goal of 3 or 4 times a week.  Start off small and build on that.
  • Write spontaneously
If you feel inspired, write what you feel.  This is your creativity kicking in.  Keep a notebook with you when you're out and about and try free writing.  Give yourself room.  Even if  you fail another idea will always come into your mind.
  • Edit when you've finished and not before
The important thing is that you need words on paper or on your computer screen.  When you've finished you'll have plenty of time to edit your work.
  • Shut off all noise and distraction
This includes all devices (mobile phones, Ipad or tablet), social media especially.  Write without interference and do it as much as you can.
  • Award yourself breaks
Write for 1-2 hours and break for 15 minutes.  Take your break away from your desktop, laptop and relax.  Take your mind off your writing by watching TV or walking the dog.  Don't read your emails or go on Twitter, neither constitutes as a break.
  • Take time to be creative
Experts would say writing for 4 to 6 hours is unhealthy and not very productive.  Alternatively write small chunks more frequently.

Everyone has different ways of staying focused.  Whatever it takes to get your butt in the chair to write, then do it!  It's much easier to write once you've started and you're more likely to finish.

Happy writing!

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