Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Focus

It gets crazy with all the events, work, social media, family commitments, and pure clutter that crop up every day. Not that some of these things aren’t important; they are. However, to be successful in writing, you need focus.

With focus, you become more efficient and the process becomes repeatable. Focus allows you to concentrate on what your abilities can do, and where they can take you. We have many excuses—time, money, insecurity—the list goes on.




The most important thing is to remove as much clutter as you can from your mind. Once you do that, you can do your best—without hesitation. Once you develop a habit of removing clutter and focusing, you can expect to be successful AND do it again and again.

Writing is the same as any other skill or talent. The more you do it, the better you get. The more you expect to be successful, the more you focus, the more repeatable that process is.

Some people approach writing success as the finished product. Instead, it needs to be every small battle that you encounter, chapter by chapter. Some days that might equal 500 words and others it might be 4,000. Or, it could be how your character gets from point A to point B, how your mystery will evolve or developing the traits and look of your character. Each one of these things puts you closer to the ultimate goal. Each step is a battle to win.

Engage in each part as if it were a battle and then build on each success along the way, trying to win the next battle. Looking forward to the enjoyment of the battle, focusing on the goal for the day, will help you develop a repeatable process that becomes familiar to yourself.

In our lonely world of writing, it’s important to remember where the successes came from. It came from a lot of hard work and focus. Think of the writing process in segments. Break it down into weeks. Strive to be better each week. Ask yourself, at the end your sixth week, “Am I further along and one week better than when I was at week five?” Focus on looking forward to the upcoming week and become one week better.

If you concentrate on one week at a time without losing sight of the battles, you will get better at focus. With focus comes success. Combine those things and you’ll be publishing books more efficiently, with better quality, than ever before.

is the author of the #1 Kindle Bestselling Young Adult novel, The Card. He's also a healthcare consultant specializing in helping healthcare companies and practices develop a social media marketing platform, and maximize cash flow. You can find him posting weekly to Indies Unlimited and occasionally as a contributor on Yahoo!

18 comments:

  1. Very inspiring post. Thanks Jim.
    I find that writing daily lists not only helps keep my focus but also provides reminders of my successes (however small and no matter how many unfinished items there might be at the end of any day, there is always something crossed off!)

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    1. You are right, I don't know what I would do without daily lists. Thanks for commenting!

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  2. Good timing, Jim. Thanks. Today I ended up not working on my WIP and instead had a bunch of administrative stuff to do. BUT I finished and will be able to commit to a full day on the MS tomorrow. So, that particular battle's won. Sometimes I find it difficult to remain relentlessly positive, but then I run across something like this. :-)

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    1. Thanks Daphne,
      I'm battling the same thing right now. Carving out time to finish up to novels. Glad to be in the right place at the right time for you, thanks!

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  3. Thanks, Jim.

    "Writing is the same as any other skill or talent. The more you do it, the better you get." This is so true. Looking at what I did a few years ago and comparing it to my recent writing efforts, I can see a huge change.

    Thanks for your inspirational thoughts.

    (Found you via Indies Unlimited.)

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  4. "" We have many excuses—" you got that right.. I found you through Indies Unliited

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  5. Visiting by way of Indies Unlimited. Nice blog :-)

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  6. Hi from IU. Ha, now I feel guilty that I'm reading blogs.

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    1. and I feel guilty that I'm replying ...

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  7. Hey, Jim! (waves) I'm focusing on gettting through all the links in today's blogfest so that I can get back to writing. Does that work? :D

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  8. Good reminder about getting back to the basics with writing.

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  9. Hi Jim--
    Stopped by from IU. Good post about focus, also a nice blog.

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