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Writing Has Taught Me Focus

Writing Has Taught Me Focus

There are a few people lucky enough to spend their entire work day doing what they love. Whether it's building computer components, racing sports cars, or writing fiction, those people have the life that we all want. For the rest of us, it can be pretty tough to fit in the things we WANT to do around the things we HAVE to do every day. One of the greatest obstacles every writer faces is their day job. It pays their bills, but it takes away the time they could spend writing. So, let's say you're lucky enough to get an hour or two of writing time every day. But what about your kids, your spouse, the maintenance of your house, or the meals that have to be cooked? These things all take up more time, and they certainly weigh on your mind. If they take up too much mental effort, they'll cut into the time you have set aside to do the things you want to do. Thankfully, writing has taught me to focus! I get about an hour or so every day to write (thanks to my gorgeous wife). That hour does NOT come at the same time every day, but I can only fit it in once I know everything is taken care of. For me, that means:
  • Making sure my two oldest kids are off to the gym
  • Dropping my son off at his basketball training
  • Make sure I have an idea of what will be prepared for dinner
  • Having an evening activity ready
My solution: get these things out of the way, THEN sit down to write. I have about 90 minutes between dropping off and picking up the kids, so that's when I fit in my writing time. Dinner and the evening activity are worries for AFTER the kids are picked up, so my mind is free to focus on the writing. To add to the laser focus: a cup of black tea, wonderful music, a quiet house, and a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Close my Gmail window, log out of Facebook, and give my wife a kiss before I sit down. With everything taken care of and distractions averted, I can get some writing time in. As a writer--or as anyone trying to accomplish anything--you HAVE to focus. That means doing whatever it takes to clear your mind of worries and to-do's, and focusing only on what you're doing. What do you do to ensure that you stay focused? Drop a comment below and share your secrets…