1. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    How to properly focus... need advice!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Irish87, Oct 20, 2009.

    It's been an incredibly strange week so far and suddenly, out of nowhere, I seem to have no interest whatsoever in writing anything. It's not writers block. I spent the morning jotting down some story ideas for a few short stories I want to write, so I know my creative juices are still flowing. However, actually getting up (or sitting down rather) and typing it out has been impossible. It's not necessarily that I am unable to write decently enough. My creativity is still there and I am able to write just as I did before. It just seems I have no interest in it.

    I already know why I can't focus. To put it briefly I finally found my two sisters, both of whom I haven't spoken with in over twenty years (I'm only twenty-two, mind you). Coupled with the impending holiday season and near constant rain (thank God) my life has been full of everything from joy to relaxation to a feeling of perfection in all ways... except my inability to excite myself via writing.

    To put it bluntly, writing is my current job. The place I worked at went out of business and suddenly finding work somewhere else has been horrific. So while I'm looking for work I'm also spending the hours constantly writing. Or I would be, but I cannot keep my focus. And THAT is my question. I do not have writers block - I am perfectly able to write a story - but I cannot keep my focus on it. Immediately my mind shifts to other things and I find myself jotting down plans for early December or fixing up my bike so I can ride up to Oregon.

    I should be enjoying all of this and, strangely enough, I am. And yet, it seems that something which is so dear to me means nothing. I am perfectly aware that this is a passing phase, but I am a man who enjoys learning the lessons of life. I could give up and dive head first into the absolute happiness, but I know it will eventually come back to bite me. So, instead of allowing myself to do what is comfortable, I need to do what is necessary. Unfortunately, I need some advice on how to keep focus.

    Any advice, any tips, anything is greatly, greatly, greatly appreciated. I'm always someone who demands people take personal responsibility and do what is right, and yet now I'm sitting around like a nine year old boy waiting to unwrap a Christmas present the day before. It's so strange that when I write I often have turmoil in my life, and yet as soon as everything is perfect I lose my willingness to waste my hours writing.
     
  2. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    After really long periods of productive creativity, I get to feel almost "cleansed" from whatever it was I wanted to convey by it. I look at my work and don't really feel much for it, for good and for bad. It just seems alright to me and that's all. I might even have the same feeling towards watching my favourite movies or reading my favourite books; they just seem "alright" and that's all. My guess is that the katharsis they used to provide has done it's job.

    So perhaps your writing is a form of katharsis. Maybe you just need a holiday from katharsizing yourself ;) People with jobs go on holiday too.
     
  3. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    Yeah, I'd say take a break and enjoy your newfound happiness. You never know, the experience could prove cathartic in itself.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...i'd say that's your core problem... if you consider writing to be a waste of time, and not what you absolutely have to do, as much as breathing, then life will continue to intrude and you will continue to not be willing to write...

    ...but if you really want to be a writer, more than anything else, then you'll write... it's that simple...
     
  5. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    Writing, for me, has always been an escape - a way to finally breath after swimming in deep, murky water. I don't write because I think one day I'll be rich from it. It's not something that's a passing phase or simply a way to relieve stress. I write because of an absolute love for both the experience and the rewards of it.

    However, my life is clogged with a thousand different things right now and focusing on anything is hard. Hell, just writing this has been difficult because I'm too busy thinking about the impending Halloween. So when I say I'm losing my willingness to waste my hours writing I don't literally mean that writing is a waste to me. I am simply finding it hard to sit there and try to type when I have a thousand different things going on, thus wasting my hours away not doing anything productive in regards to writing.

    I was just looking for some advice on how to keep my focus on one thing.
     
  6. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    What is a writer without experience? Maybe now is a good time to do something else, with this new energy you have in your life. Some major things are changing for you. I'd take the time out to absorb the full experience, focus on life, then return to writing later when it calls to me.
     
  7. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    If you feel the need to do something productive with your writing, then I would suggest writing and submitting poems and/or stories to magazines (assuming you aren't already doing this).

    Also, you may need to take care of those other things you mentioned. It seems you are thinking about them constantly while writing.
     
  8. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Maybe try writing how you feel. Whatever pops in your head. Get all the energy out into words. Then try working on a story.
     
  9. Laters
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    Laters New Member

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    Vacation. Go. Now.
     
  10. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    Don't you hate it when the obvious is sitting right in front of you and you walk around it? I had forgotten entirely that most of the things I write about seem to be what I'm focused on anyhow. I've been trying to write stories which have nothing to do with what I'm thinking of. I suppose it just did not register that I should be writing about any of this.

    Then again I was able to write an entry for the short story competition on the forums. I had no problem there, probably because I was thinking about writing a Halloween story for my nephews.

    Thanks again everyone for the advice. I took everyone's and appreciate each.
     
  11. HondaWriter
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    HondaWriter Member

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    What I like about Michigan is that summers are great for my motorcycle hobby and winters for writing. By the time summer is over, Im really itching to write again.
     
  12. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    I'm not a massive fan of the whole getting shot thing and I hear Michigan is the place to go if you want to get shot. California is pretty good for riding, but it's better for writing. Half of the time the state is either so hot you can't go outside or it's on fire so you're advised to stay inside.
     
  13. HondaWriter
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    HondaWriter Member

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    ... I still like Michigan. It keeps you on your toes. :)
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    ...until you lose them to frostbite.
     
  15. HondaWriter
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    HondaWriter Member

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    It's not that cold....sometimes.
     
  16. marcusl
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    marcusl Member

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    Let me just throw in a random Michael Jordan quote:

    "Some days I ask myself is it worth it? Is it okay to take a day off? Those are the days I push myself."

    Of course, there might be days when it's better to just take a break, too. Well, way to be inspiring!
     
  17. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    Try being a writer with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). It's hard to focus on your writing alone, especially when your mind tends to go to other subjects. So here's something I found that helps me a lot when my ADD starts up. I walk away from the writing.

    Literally, I walk away from it and go focus on everything else. Then without realizing it I'm back at the computer typing away the latest plot of the antagonist or writing out what some minor, never gonna really count character is saying.

    My advice, enjoy your new found happiness and let you will to write seep through you whenever it feels the need to. Don't push it or else you won't want to write at all.
     

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