Monday, May 07, 2018

14 Ways to Stay Focused When You Write


Concentration and focus are key factors if you want to master the craft of writing. It's paramount that you're able to hold these long periods of thought in order to stay focused.

Discover Your Writing Flow

According to psychologists, when a person stays fully engrossed in what they are doing they form a 'flow'. This enables writer's to hold all the parts in their head and write eloquently.

I want to share some techniques and writing habits that have really helped me boost my concentration:

1. Set a Goal and Stick to It

Set an attainable goal such as writing in the morning or evening. If you can't manage writing everyday try setting a goal of writing 3 or 4 times a week. Start off small and build on that.
2. 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. Even if you fail another idea will always come into your mind.

3. 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.

4. 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

5. 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 taking a walk. Don't read your emails or go on Twitter, neither constitutes as a break.

6. 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.

7. Welcome Any Distraction

It's inevitable that distractions will come and your mind will start to start to wander. Half the battle is realising what those distractions are. When this happens take a step back and look at what is going on around you. Give yourself a gentle reminder that you need to work and that you need to concentrate on what you're doing.

8. Have a Change of Scenery

A small change in location can make a big difference even if it's only temporary. This can also include using a new pen or different laptop or computer. These things can all help.

9. Sometimes It's All About Timing

My best writing time is at night. Change your writing routine and see what time suits your creativity the best.

10. Measure Your Words

Use a spreadsheet to track your writing over time. See how long it takes you to write 500 words.

11. Pursue Inspiration

All writers should carry a notebook, because all good ideas come at the most inopportune of moments.

12. Goodies

When you take a break, allow yourself a little treat. Try not to over indulge. There's no harm every now and again though.

13. The Chunk Method

Try writing in chunks of 45 minutes, then take a short break for 15 minutes and so on.

14. Leave Some Breadcrumbs

When you've finished your day's writing leave a few breadcrumbs to follow-up on the next day.
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Read more:
Why It's Good to Take a Breather from Writing

20 Writing Do's and Don'ts

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