My ploy to staying focused in writing is to surround myself with projects. They keep me thinking, planning, scheming, and using other various parts of my brain essential to writing. I’ve read many articles about conquering writer’s block, and this tip has been mentioned in several of them. For me though, it’s more than just curbing the occasional writer’s block, it helps with my creativity as well as productivity.
It could be the ADD in me, but the busier I am, the more I achieve. It’s when I am working solely on one project for a long period of time I can crawl too far inside my head, and my productivity tends to get sloppy. It helps having other irons in the fire, because I know I have more to tend to. I work crazily on one topic, and if things start to slow down, I jump to another. Nine times out of ten, I feel as if I’ve accomplished several things by bedtime. This must somehow translate to my psyche that I am an achiever. I fall asleep on a positive note, which is important.
Another path to progress on projects is strategic downtime. I count long walks, latte runs, and hot showers as side-tactics to make headway. It’s where I let my mind wander and process all I am working on. Surprisingly, I find that my progress tends to be of better quality than laboring over one endeavor until it’s completed.
Finally, I feel a level of excitement as different projects hit varying levels of success. Most importantly, I am giving myself permission to truly feel that excitement. For example, I have a new project launching on June 1st I am jubilant about. It involves poetry, colorful thinking, and helping others. Those are my only hints for today… more to come. But, you can imagine the thrill streaming from this new project has me smiling. Smiling forces your mind to feel good. Cyclically, a positive fresh attitude serves well in attempts to achieve productivity.
I have also spent time working on another old/new project; one involving children, strawberries, and syllables. I’ve been working on it for a long time, and while taking a break from my other projects, I came back to this little gem and made enormous growth. I believe my current headway would not have come about had I strangled it until it was complete at the time of origination.
If you follow my fiction page, you are aware I am attempting a complete re-write of my book Seam Keepers. I’ve decided it’s an exciting and complete story… which might also be lying a bit flat at the moment. I need to give it some life, so I am rewriting it in first person and starting in a completely new spot in the story. I want to make it special. Who knows how that will go, but I’ve been able to get in a few hundred words, working on some new directions, and feeling motivated about it again.
Keep yourself focused, as well as creativity flowing, by originating new projects. Some might not pan out right away. Some may take off sooner than you think. The point is, to keep moving yourself forward. Add this idea to your “to-do” list (I’ve posted in a previous article: https://stepsinbetween.com/2018/02/25/a-murmuration-of-to-dos-check/), and you’ll be ready to conquer.
Ready, set, go!
Writing Advice: One-A-Day-Challenge
Many of my writing friends are challenging themselves to writing one poem a day. I did this with the Tupelo Press 30/30 Challenge in February of 2017. Although I’m not posting mine right now, due to the other project I am working on and not revealing until June 1st, I am writing a new and editing an older poem each day. I use this process it as a warm-up to begin my other writing endeavors. I’ve also had brand new ideas stem from this simple practice. Give it a try!
For writers who do not consider themselves poets, try writing scenes with or without your current characters (separate from your storyline). Or if you are a nonfiction writer, try writing about a random, new subject. Maybe your inspiration can come from a google search or a picture posted on Facebook.
Set yourself up with a few small rules, for example, one poem or scene or google-search paragraph per day for one month. If at the end of your challenge you don’t notice your abilities in writing improve, your wittiness in dialogue increase, your craft in sensory-evoking develop, or simply your range in stretching yourself expand (I could go on), then call me a liar. But, my bet is that not only will you improve your writing by writing more, you’ll have given your mind and heart other directions to focus, which will free up room for growth and successes when you return to the projects you care most about.
http://www.thebluediamondgallery.com/typewriter/n/new-projects.html and Creative Commons (New Projects)
http://digitalgirlfriday.net/answers-to-5-commonly-asked-digital-marketing-questions/ and Creative Commons (girl with ideas)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/artbystevejohnson/4654424717 and Creative Commons (Poetry word tiles)
https://pixabay.com/en/wall-man-busy-perception-clock-845707/ and Creative Commons (busy shadow moving)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/33524159@N00/17505412004 and Creative Commons (fish jumping to new bow)
https://pixabay.com/en/path-andar-field-landscape-spring-1577192/ and Creative Commons (take a walk)
Categories: Thoughts on writing...