Freeze. Put brain into slo-mo. Breathe. Relax. Wait and...
A lot of us have trouble focusing these days, don't we? We have fifty tabs open to five different blogs, Facebook, IM, Wikipedia, Youtube, this that... and we're also chatting on the phone while reading snippets of the book we're currently reading.
(Okay, maybe I shouldn't be saying we maybe I should be saying I, but I am saying 'we' in all hope that I am not alone in overtasking!)
I have to admit that I am insane multitasker. I will be listening to music, doing homework, eating my snack and reading newspaper articles all at the same time. I will be studying in my head while doing laundry. I will be looking up stuff on the computer while surfing the blogs, while reading my book as I wait for pages to load. It's efficient, I tell myself, I am getting more done in a little time.
I am surprised my brain has not gone on strike by now!
As it turns out, multitasking isn't multitasking at all. We aren't actually capable of doing many things at once. What we are capable of is flitting from one thing to another, quickly on one thing like posting on a blog, oh now to reading a book, back to blog, over to the phone conversation, back to book, then to blog... all around like that.
You can see how it would take a toll on our brain, on our focus.
And, can I say that we need some of that focus to write? I know I've been victim to the nagging feeling in the back of my head as I'm writing that's saying you should be, can be doing something else like doing homework or blogging or-or-or and on and on like that. SHUT UP, NAGGING VOICE!!
TO BRING YOUR BRAIN INTO FOCUS :
*note suggestions are suggestions not guaranteed to achieve focus. Only you can do that!
- RESIST THE INTERNET. Close every window but your story. If the temptation is too much, turn off your internet for awhile (or break your Wi-Fi connection! - or, not).
- REMOVE ALL DISTRACTIONS. Books, away. Cellphones, away. Music, away (unless this helps you write). EVERYTHING AWAY except for, you know, your brain and your writing.
- DISCIPLINE. I'm sorry, but you have to have discipline. Discipline to concentrate, to push yourself forward into your story and I think once you're in there you'll have a hard time getting out. (Like when you're a kid and you just DON'T want to get in the bath, you HATE baths and then half an hour later when your mom comes and says time to get out, you hold your breath underwater for thirty seconds hoping she won't see you and leave you be in your perfect bubbly paradise.) Look forward to that perfect bubbly paradise!
What do you do to help you stay focused on your writing?