HOW TO… #2 – KEEP YOUR FOCUS

Whatever you write, you need to maintain your focus, not just by concentrating solely on your writing – which, in itself, can be a challenge what with the constant access to online tools and social media – but by going back regularly to your notes and plan (see How to… #1 – Plan your writing).

First thing first, have a routine. Allocate time for your writing and be realistic about said time frame. It’s better to give yourself one hour a day, for example, and find out later on that you are able to write longer than the reverse.

Once sat your desk, make the most of that hour by picking up where you left off the last time. Never start in the void, it’s the best way for your critical voice to step in and convince you that you cannot write. When picking up your last bit of writing, whether it is a simple sentence or ten pages, be kind and constructive. Your aim is to improve your writing not to torture yourself! I will come back to that topic in a later video post.

By editing your text, reviewing your ideas and plot, you will generate the next sentence, the next idea. In other words, and to use the running comparison again, one stride will lead you to the next. It seems obvious, yet it is worth keeping in mind, particularly when you start doubting yourself.

And, most of all, remind yourself that you chose to write, that you’re pursuing an idea, a theme that you are interested in and writing is your own space to express yourself, even if it is to write a commissioned piece. Your focus will depend on how much your motivation can supersede any negative comments your critical voice will throw at you. The more you keep on writing, the less you will notice it and the more focused you will be.

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