Writing with focus is one of the most challenging things to do. It takes a lot of time and effort to complete a writing project – whether it’s a blog post, article, or book. So it makes sense that so many people struggle with how to write with focus. It’s hard to know where to start. Since making a living at blogging is a full-time job, this is one of the first questions I got from my team members.
My answer was simple. I told them not to worry about writing every single day. I said, “Write for a few hours every day for at least one week. Set a timer and set a goal. Then write for at least three weeks with the same purpose. The best way to succeed at writing with focus is to have a specific plan. You need to know where you are going and why you are going there. This destination is called your vision.
Most people fail when it comes to having a vision. The reason is that they are thinking about the wrong thing. They focus on the immediate task rather than what they ultimately want to accomplish. The biggest problem is that we don’t know how to write with focus. It’s just not something that ever occurred to us. I mean, how could it?
We’re just not used to it. We’re used to being distracted by our phones, computers, televisions, etc. When we sit down to write a book or a blog post, the biggest question is how to write with focus. While writing with focus requires a lot of energy, I’ve found that a few factors make it easier. It’s not guaranteed that you’ll be able to write with focus, but you can improve your chances.
Create a list of your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. Start with the most obvious. Then you will know how to proceed for improvement.
I will show you the exact process I go through before starting writing with focus. Following this process will make it easier to focus on the task at hand.
It is how I write with focus:
- Have a writing schedule
The most important part of my writing with the focus process is to schedule my writing. It’s like working out every day.
It’s repetitive and boring, but it’s a commitment to myself. I make all my writing appointments in advance, and then I keep them. Unless there is a family emergency, hospitalized, or something like that, I make my writing appointments, and I keep them.
If you don’t work out for a day, you suddenly feel sluggish, tired, and not in the mood to do anything. The same goes for writing; if I don’t write for a day, my story feels stagnant, I don’t feel inspired, and I don’t feel the energy to write. I schedule my writing like I schedule anything else in my life.
1. Make a New Plan
If you feel frustrated from not being able to write with focus, a new plan might help. That new plan may be a different time of day, another day of the week, a different writing environment, a newly formed goal, a new writing schedule, a new work station, a new writing style, a newly formed writing method, a new idea, or any other variable.
2. Begin Your Writing Session Fresh
Sometimes, just starting my day with a few minutes of highly focused writing makes the rest of my day go smoothly.
When you don’t start writing with focus, staying focused throughout the writing session is more challenging. My best work is done when I start my writing session with focus.
3. Consider Writing Benefits
It may be essential to consider when writing with focus or any other time.
-You can set a short amount of time to write for, say, 10 minutes. Rather than a specific number of words, you can write until a particular event happens in your story.
For example, you could write until your protagonist enters a new location, until they find a new clue, or until they have further interaction with a character.
-Pick a location that is likely to make it easy to focus. It may be the library for some people. For others, this may be their bed or a bedroom.
The important thing is to pick a place that will make it easy to focus without being distracted. You may need to experiment with a few locations to find the right one.
-Choose a time in your day when you’re less likely to be distracted.
1. You’re not tired or exhausted
- If you’re tired, don’t give yourself the extra stress of trying to force your brain to come up with words. It’s not worth it.
2. There’s no TV on in the background
- Unless it’s National Novel Writing Month, TV acts as an ADD-like stimulus.
3. You don’t have other distractions, like the internet
- If you need to research something for your novel, save it for when you’re done writing. Learn More
4. You’ve taken time to center yourself
- Before starting your writing session, find a cozy space to sit in, close your eyes, and take deep breaths. You can even try meditating or praying.
5. You’re not hungry
- Hunger can make it hard to focus because you’re more worried about food than your novel. You don’t want to get distracted by cravings.
Find a quiet place:
- Find a place that’s free of distractions and preferably quiet. If you can’t find a calm place in your office, ask a colleague if you can use theirs.
- Even if you’re in a quiet place, there may be noise outside. If you can’t find a calm place in your office, ask a colleague if you can use theirs.
Buy a cheap alarm clock:
- Set your alarm for 30 minutes, and when it goes off, remind yourself that you need to take a break.
If you’re unable to find a quiet place to work, you can always install a timer on your computer. It is an excellent way to time a break without reminding yourself constantly. This action step is not applicable for writing in a noisy environment.
A note from the editor:
It is a good action step for writers in a noisy environment.
1. Don’t drink caffeine: No coffee, no soda, no energy drinks. Caffeine is a stimulant, and it’ll make getting to the task an uphill battle.
2. Get enough sleep: You can’t focus if you’re running on pure adrenaline.
3. Feed the mind: Keep an emergency supply of sugar, salt, and caffeine-free tea like rooibos or peppermint.
4. Be conscious of your surroundings: music can be a great way to energize and focus; changing your environment may help (for example, going outside, going to a coffee shop, etc.).
5. Limit writing: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been sitting at my desk with a busy day ahead and have been able to write because I limited myself to 2 hours.
6. Take a break: Take a 20-minute break every 60 minutes to an hour.
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