Can we all agree that distraction is one of a writer’s most common and deadly foes? Here are some habits that help me stay focused on difficult writing days.
1.) Make a list.
It doesn’t have to be elaborate! Even if you have only one or two things on your writing agenda, write them down. It’s so helpful to have that visual reminder of what you have to do in case your mind wanders. And it’s just so satisfying to cross things off your list.:)
Here’s my writing list for today:
- Work on Thursday’s blog post
- Write the bridge for Chapter 4
- Write more of Chapter 4… finish???
- Listen to “Creating Stellar Characters”
2.) Have water or a yummy drink on hand.
Stay hydrated… it’s good for your brain! Make sure you’re getting the water you need so you can think and write your best.
Also, having a special coffee drink is just plain fun. Maybe it doesn’t improve focus in a huge way… but it can be a little extra something that makes your writing time more enjoyable.:)
3.) Take breaks and set a timer.
Giving your brain a break from focusing on one scene or task or topic can be so helpful. Taking even just a tiny break and doing something else for a minute or two adds a helpful variation from staring at your computer screen for hours.
As far as the timer goes… if you know that you have a limited amount of time to do something, it somehow makes a task more bearable and encourages you to work harder at it!
4.) Don’t let yourself get distracted.
I know, I know… the second you sit down to write that not-super-exciting scene or the mentally-taxing blog post, you remember half a dozen other things that have suddenly become pressing matters.
Just exercise your self-control and tell yourself, no not until _____. Then you’re going to be so proud of yourself when you reach that goal, and even more motivated to meet your next goal! Each time you work your self-control, you’re making it easier for yourself to be self-controlled next time. You can do it!!!
5.) Remember that it won’t always be a struggle to focus.
One of the things I had to realize as I started to take my writing more seriously is that there will be days where I’m super excited and pumped about writing, and other days where I’m really wanting to drag my feet… and that’s normal and okay.
Just keep on slogging through the tough days, knowing that you’re gonna slay it SOON!!!
What are some things you do to help yourself stay focused?
3 thoughts on “5 Ways to Keep Your Focus On Tough Writing Days”
Making a list is a good tip, and to build on top of that, I’d like to add that you should tackle your larger tasks by taking baby steps. So just focusing on one paragraph, or just coming up with the title, or editing only the intro.
This ‘divide and conquer’ way of doing things may be cliche, but it really works, and it takes the dread out of said tasks. Thanks for this post!
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Absolutely… great point! That definitely makes you feel like you’re accomplishing more.:)
These things are super helpful for any task that you don’t want to do…even if you’re not a writer. 😏
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