Many writers have tons of ideas floating around in their minds and they know if they focus long enough they can write an amazing book. The problem is that once we do sit down and try to focus on that one idea, our minds wander and that makes it very difficult to get any writing done.
For instance, I wrote that first paragraph and then my mind went elsewhere and I didn’t write this second paragraph until about an hour later. It happens. And so, we google how to better our focus and write consistently and every search result says the same thing: have a quiet environment with no distractions. So, we close ourselves off from the world and try to enter our own but still end up with wandering thoughts that distract us from our book idea.
While it’s true that we should have an uninterrupted work environment while writing, our writing environment is not just a physical place, but a mental one. We have to train our minds to come back to our writing over and over again until it becomes a habit. Rerouting our wandering minds can be difficult, but it is necessary for us to stay on track.
Most people think that we can only write when we’re inspired, or when we randomly get that tingly feeling and a burst of creative energy, but writing doesn’t come at random. Writing is a habit we have to develop and stick to. Writing requires structure and a scheduled for time spent in an acceptable writing environment, not just waiting for inspiration to bite us in the ass.
Provide yourself with a quiet atmosphere where you can’t be interrupted by people, Facebook notifications or emails from your boss. Make sure you have all the utensils needed to write your story, a drink and a timer. Give yourself a time limit that is only allowed to be exceeded and then start writing.
Then, when your mind starts to wander, get into the habit of asking yourself, “How does this relate to my story?”. If you can relate that thought to your story then it will bring your mind back to your story. If it’s not related then put it on the back burner until your timer goes off. You can think about other stuff later, right now you just need to think about your story.
Dawn Zauner – Writing Expert
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