I’ll let you in on a secret: the key to being a successful writer is focus.
Writing requires discipline at every stage of the game. Writing itself requires discipline, editing your work requires discipline, finding appropriate places to publish your work requires discipline, networking with writers and others involved in the literary world requires discipline.
If you want to succeed as a writer, you need to learn how to focus.
Many writers resolve to write on a daily basis. Unfortunately, for many, this important practice is eventually shrugged off and forgotten as easily as a New Year’s resolution. You don’t want to be that type of writer. Those types of writers are WINOs—writers in name only.
Yet maintaining focus as a writer may be quite difficult. Here are a list of suggested ways to maintain your focus:
1. Keep in mind the end goal: getting your writing out there and connecting it with readers who will love your work. If your work remains in the aether or on your desktop, that won’t happen.
2. Have a set time devoted entirely to writing-related activities. This can be writing, editing, networking, or exploring publishing opportunities. Try to devote at least one hour to this every day. Devote more time during the weekend. Your determination will pay off.
3. When the inspiration strikes, write! If at all possible, stop what you’re doing and take advantage. Capitalizing on your bursts of inspiration will motivate you to persevere during normal times where it may be a bit more difficult to get the creative juices going.
4. If you are writing on your computer, I highly recommend listening to videos on YouTube that help individuals focus through binaural beats and isochronic tones. Make sure to use headphones and listen at a low volume.
5. Avoid overreacting to mundane annoyances in life. A writer shouldn’t get too high or too low about anything. Being an emotional rollercoaster will hinder your ability to focus.
6. Consider using Reiki or other relaxation practices to calm your nervous system down.