Your Focus Needs More Focus

Well, Teachers Write! is moving on swimmingly, even when I’m just treading water. If you can even call what I’ve done this week treading water. I mean, I’ve been writing—as in working on my work-in-progress—but when I look at how much time has passed since school let out (four weeks), it feels like I’ve done squat. Boo!

I know many of writer friends would tell me not to beat myself up about it, that we’ve all had those times when we are less than focused. Like Mr. Han says to Dre Parker in the 2010 Karate Kid movie: “Your focus needs more focus.” Exactly. So how does one do that? How does one get “more focus”?

 

Yeah, well, the answer to that is quite obvious: stay off Facebook and the Internet. Watch less TV, right? Right. If only it were that easy…

I know there are Internet distraction blockers out there, but how effective are they really? I mean, if I can set the perimeters, I can certainly change them or cancel them altogether. Drat! That’s not helpful.

Sheesh. I guess that means I need some self-discipline. Some self-control.

Huh. It’s just a little self-control. I can do this, right? I can decide to stop lurking online and stop avoiding this writing thing. But why am I avoiding this writing thing in the first place? I love writing. There’s something about finding that perfect word and putting words together in a way that makes them dance across the page. I love that feeling.

I think I know part of the reason I’m dancing around this writing thing. Writing is hard, but in this particular case, it’s not for the reasons you think. Well, not completely. After reading Jo Knowles’s book Lessons from a Dead Girl last week, I had an epiphany. The subject matter of that book is hard to read at times. Heartbreaking, really. Can you imagine how hard it was for her to write words that break hearts?

I’m not saying my book will be as heart wrenching as Jo’s, but I’m tackling some sensitive issues as well—similar subject matter even. Which brings me back to this whole avoidance thing. Dodging my Muse doesn’t prevent my characters from whispering in my ears. And avoiding her (my Muse) only irritates her, and when she’s irritated, she drags my ass out of bed at 4:00 am or keeps me up until 3:00am. Either way, I surrender to her and write until my head hurts. Stupid, demanding, unyielding, brilliant, beautiful Muse.

You win.

It’s time to hit this thing head on and get it done. One scene at a time.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nancy
    Jun 24, 2012 @ 16:47:59

    I love your muse! Just give her some undivided attention and let her creat! You go girl!

    Reply

  2. C.B. Wentworth
    Jun 24, 2012 @ 16:51:20

    I always think I’m going to get so much more done during the summer than I actually do! I can’t believe a month has gone by already – sometimes I swear my days are busier during the summer than during the school year. 😉

    Reply

    • mfryhover
      Jun 24, 2012 @ 17:10:38

      I had planned on having the first draft of my novel completed before school started again in August. When I realized a few days ago that my summer was almost half over I was in a bit of a state of shock. Yowza!

      Reply

  3. tryingtowriteit
    Jun 24, 2012 @ 16:56:56

    Sometimes you just have to give into the voices and trust that they tell you the right things… Keep writing.

    Reply

  4. AprilinWichita
    Jun 24, 2012 @ 17:10:07

    Sometimes the best thing a writer can do is just to forgive oneself.

    Reply

  5. Jennifer
    Jun 25, 2012 @ 16:09:36

    I spent 10 minutes reading about iron skillets after I decided to find just the right picture for today’s blogpost. The post had absolutely nothing to do with skillets. I don’t use iron skillets. I have no idea how I got to that website!! I totally sympathize with your struggle to stay on task at the computer. We can do this!!

    Reply

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