I experience times in my life, I can’t focus on anything. I suspect it occurs more during the summer when Portland reaches an amazing 80 degrees. When I’m at work I watch the clouds drift by from the sixth floor window, counting the minutes until I’m able to walk outside and enjoy the sun.
However, life just doesn’t seem to stop when I have days like that. I have writing to do, bills to pay, family to take care of. So what do I do when I can’t focus?
- Make a list
- Write small scenes
At times my lack of focus is due to being overwhelmed. I imagine a cute puppy chasing it’s tail, and of course never catching it. That’s when I grab some paper, or write on my white board what I need to accomplish and prioritize each item. That way, I’m focusing on one thing at a time instead of everything all at once.
I’m a huge fan of “The Big Bang Theory“. In one episode Sheldon couldn’t solve an equation so he decided to work on something menial to allow his subconscious to find the solution. And, it worked. In a short time, he had what he needed. It’s the same with your writing, and anything else we are thinking too much about. When you reach those times, go for a walk, fold laundry, read, watch TV or anything else that allows you to focus on something other than what you need the answer too.
Writing a novel can overwhelm you. I had some wonderful advice from someone I respect very much in the writing industry. She suggested that I write small scenes as they come to mind. I’m an advocate of outlining, but I felt this would help me understand my story and thought process better. So keep it simple and write a scene.
When day-to-day things bombard us, I think it’s common that we forget to breathe. I’m not referring to those that we do without thinking, but big deep cleansing breathes. Your shoulders and neck will relax and your mind will calm.
While we are all going through life, searching for the right word, title, book cover, story or just lose focus all together, try the above and don’t forget that sometimes you just need to have fun!
Until Next Time…