When all is right in my world and things are running along smoothly, I can easily keep my focus.
When I keep my focus, I can do crazy wonderful things like write 8,000 to 10,000 words in a day.
The problem is that, more often than not, all is not right in my world and things don’t run smoothly and my focus is scattered at best.
I find myself distracted.
Distracted means I have a hard time sitting down and writing with any sort of rhythm or creative thought process.
At first, I thought I had a major case of writer’s block.
After examining this problem from all sides, I finally came to the conclusion it isn’t that I’ve lost the ability to write. I’ve lost the ability to filter out the distractions.
So I am forcing myself to sit down and write specific periods of time. I know some of what I’m writing will need to be rewritten extensively, but at this point I am more concerned about the process, the very act of writing, than what is being written.
My theory is that if I can train myself to block out the distractions and work anyway, it will be a very good thing.
I’ve got a couple of things I do to try to overcome the distractions and pull my thoughts back to my story. I engage my senses.
I try to visualize what the people or place at that moment in my storyline look like. Is her hair being tossed about by the wind, is he sporting a day’s growth of stubble because he didn’t have time to shave, is the house in need of paint?
Then I try to smell my way into the story. What perfume is she wearing? Does he smell like the wood he’s been cutting? What type of roses are making such a lovely scent in the garden?
I listen to what is in the background of the story. Is the wind whistling through the trees? Is a tea kettle spluttering on the stove? Does the sound of other conversations fill the background with noise?
Finally, I think about taste. Is she sipping a cup of smooth hot chocolate? Is he chewing minty gum? Was there something bitter in that goblet that was forced into her hand?
By calling on my senses, it draws me into the story on such a personal level, it makes it harder for the distractions to seep in and brings clarity to my focus.
Any one with tips on how to block out the distractions and stay focused, please feel free to share in the comments section!