5 Ways to Keep Your Focus On Tough Writing Days

5 Ways to Keep Your Focus On Tough Writing Days

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?

No Condemnation

No Condemnation

To be honest…

Some days I get so frustrated with myself for not being the person I want to be. Being me, I mess up, then start throwing accusing questions at myself.

Why can’t I get my life figured out?

Why did I do such an awful job at work today?

Why can’t I live up to everyone’s expectations?

Why can’t I live up to my own expectations?

I can so relate to the Apostle Paul when he writes in Romans 7:15, “…what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.”

Cue the sickening feelings of guilt, insufficiency, and sinfulness. Right?


“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” – Romans 8:1

This is one of my favorite Bible verses ever. Are you serious? No condemnation???

I’m floored by the fact that the God who looks into my heart and knows my sins even better than I do is the One who loves me with such passion and faithfulness. This incredible love compelled Him to take on Himself the full punishment for my sins. He received all of my condemnation on the cross.

God isn’t calling me to beat myself up over my failures… He’s already been beaten for me.

I can’t let my shortcomings define me. Christ defines me. Yes, I will sin… but I’ll take that sin to God, repent, and walk away from it, travelling on in the amazing grace He gives.

Praise God, I can walk in freedom!

Will you do the same?

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Photo by Pete Nuij on Unsplash

When Life Doesn’t Make Sense

When Life Doesn’t Make Sense

If you’re a human, you go through seasons in which you simply can’t understand why your life looks the way it does… why so-and-so said such-and-such… why such-and-such had to happen/not happen… why your life is so obviously falling apart, and will absolutely never be whole again. *sighs and sniffs dramatically*

These seasons may be a nearly everyday occurrence for some. They’re few and far between for the rest, but they’re still there. And hard. Really hard.

I think God wisely planted inside of us something that tells us that life is supposed to make sense… and so we get frustrated when life doesn’t make sense. We cry when life takes an unexpected – and completely undesired – turn. We weep as our most beautiful dreams rot and crumble before our eyes.

Because we can’t see what the Author sees.

I’ve not yet read the book, but I do enjoy the movie based on Charles Dickens’ Bleak House. It’s rather gloomy and sad, but the writer’s heart in me rejoices at the incredible intricacies of the plot.

At the beginning, it seems like there are just a lot of loose ends – several stories that don’t relate to each other very well. There are times when what’s happening is so confusing and incoherent. But as the story progresses, you see how every single person, place, and event is linked together in one massive, fascinating plot. In the end, you are left in awe of the creator of such an incredible story.

See, the thing about stories is that they don’t make complete sense – they aren’t supposed to make complete sense – to anyone but the author until the end.

We’re in the middle of our stories right now, and so naturally there are a few aspects of them that leave us scratching our heads in confusion… or, if I may be frank and a bit more honest, bawling on the floor in complete emotional disarray.

But God’s perfect plot is still there. When it seems like everything is falling apart, it’s really falling into place. Truly.

I haven’t lived that long, but already I’ve seen God weaving my story together, and believe me, He beats Charles Dickens hands down.

I have seen Him take circumstances that I despised and use them to draw me to Himself.

I have rejoiced at the way He laid the groundwork for my prayers to be answered before I even thought to pray them.

I have cried as He allowed my dreams to be smashed, and tearfully trusted Him to build and fulfil better ones.

I have seen that, through it all, He has been faithful, and that He will be faithful for the rest of my days. Oh, it will be a glorious day when He reveals to me the entire script of my life, with all the “loose” ends tied together.

If you are His child, He will do the same for you.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. – Romans 8:28 (emphases mine)

Be comforted… it will be worth it all when we see the end. ❤