On a number of occasions people have asked me how I stay focused while writing. My answer, I don’t. Life itself distracts me. I’m proud of myself if I can get a paragraph down without deciding I’m hungry or need to wash the dishes or there’s something good on television. Often I believe I’ll never get anything complete and I’ll forever be forced to live my life in the 9-5 world. I can actually help others finish their writing projects at a much better efficiency rate than my own.
Every once in a while I finish something and of course I think it’s crap. But then I get to editing and it starts to shape up. I take my time because I don’t have to worry about getting the thought out anymore. Maybe that’s why I can help someone else. The thought already exists and like everyone else who reads, I get ideas on how to make it better. So I apply that to my own stuff. And if I wasn’t so much of a self critic I’d actually finish editing one day.
Obviously those rules don’t apply to this blog. This is the one place where I just write whatever the heck is on my mind even if I think no one will read it. Plus it makes me feel like I’ve written something for the day so I might actually be a writer after all.
I guess my point is, I’m not focused or not focused in what people imagine focus to be. I mean there’s always a story on my mind. Usually it’s not the same story as the previous thought. Sometimes I get disciplined enough to sit myself down to pull all the pieces of one together. Through this process I actually learned that attempting to write a book all the way through was too agonizing for me. So now I’m trying to write each chapter as its own short story.
So yeah, I’m not focused. Are you? Good for you if you are. Writing is my soul, but sometimes it’s hesitant to be shared. Or maybe it’s having an identity crisis. Either way, advice on being focused is not to come from me.