Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Writer Wednesday: Keeping Focus


Today's topic came by request during this week's Monday Mishmash. The question was how do I stay focused, keep my butt in the chair, and work. The answer is actually pretty simple. If you want to be serious about writing, then you have to treat it like any other job. 

Sure, I'd love to relax with a good book all day long. Who wouldn't? But I have a job to do. I have deadlines, whether they are self-imposed or given to me by my editors. Writing is a job like any other. Do I ever call in sick? Sure. I'm human. Things happen on occasion that make it impossible for me to write. But most days, I'm at my computer at set times each day. I know that's my work time, and I clock in just like any other job would require me to.

I would suggest having a set working area too. Right now I don't have an office, but I write in the same place every day. It conditions my brain to know it's time to work. I think that really helps. And if you do have an office, that's great. Use it, and I'll try not to get too jealous as I wait for my construction to finish so I can have an office. ;)

So really that's it. My advice for staying focused is to commit to making writing a job. A really fun job, but a job nonetheless. 

32 comments:

  1. Great post, Kelly. And true. You must treat it like a job. When my friends want to go out and I know I haven't reached my writing goal. I decline. You wouldn't call in to a regular job so you could go party... Lol, well I wouldn't do that.

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    1. lol I think some people might, but I'm like you. I'd decline.

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  2. It is so wonderful that you can stay motivated - especially with self-imposed deadlines. I'm such a procrastinator it is absolutely ridiculous. Keep it up:)

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    1. Procrastination is tempting, which is why I tend to do things immediately. It reduces the temptation. ;)

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  3. I'm going to have to do this, too. The summer has proved to me how easy it is to fritter away my time, kinda-sorta-writing-a-little-bit while in front of the TV. I DO have an office space. I haven't been using it. I'm going to have to buckle down.

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    1. Use it, Dianne. It makes a big difference.

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  4. I participated in an author reading event at our local library this weekend and someone asked me the same question. I think my background in corporate America really helped me, because I approach my writing day like a day at the office. 1. What needs to get done today. 2. What would I like to accomplish today 3. Every day tasks.

    I have X amount of hours to do it in - go!

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    1. I really think that's how you have to do it. At least it's how I have to do it. ;)

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  5. When it's your job to write, how can you argue with that? I would be sweating bullets at the thought of a deadline.

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    1. lol Deadlines make me work harder. I like them.

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  6. I work as a full-time freelance writer with a variety of clients and nobody takes it seriously. They think because my work hours are flexible, I should be able to just take off whenever. Last week with family in town it was at its worst...and now I'm so far behind, I'm buried. I take it seriously--other people just don't!

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    1. I hear you. People think working at home means you're not doing anything that can't be done at another time. I tell people to only call me if it's an emergency. Otherwise, wait until after 3:00pm. (I write from 9:00am to 3:00pm while my daughter is in school.)

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  7. I think giving yourself a writing schedule, even if it's in brief spurts throughout the day, can be wonderful in maintaining your motivation and focus with writing!

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  8. Nicole, I couldn't live without a schedule.

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  9. Yup, once the excitement of a new idea wears off that has me typing madly, then it's time to settle in for the long haul and do the work. Even when *sigh* it's not fun. I also really like you're new graphic! I love blue and green together.

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    1. Thanks, Leandra. I decided I needed some new and improved graphics for my memes. :)

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  10. I consider it a job. I have a list of things to do, keep up with writing-related email, I'm always writing or subbing, and I do have a dedicated workspace.

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    1. That's great, and it's also why you are always amazing me with your productivity.

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  11. great advice and good timing, thanks!

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  12. Thank you for the advice Kelly : D. I will try to get into a set routine and not check social media or email during that time either!

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    1. lol Yeah, stay away from social media during that time.

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  13. Perfectly said. Before anyone ever paid me a dime for writing, I treated my efforts and the time I designated to writing as a sort of "sacred time." Otherwise it can get shoved aside by life's endless demands, and you will have the dubious honor of looking at what might have been.

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  14. Great advice! Definitely have to treat it like any other job and set aside time to write as regularly as possible. I agree that it is a super fun job. :)

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    1. So much fun. I love that I love my job. :)

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  15. Well said, Kelly. If we want it enough, we'll make it happen. Everyday.

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