Posts Tagged ‘focus’

Are You Thinking Outside the Box?

November 9, 2009

In my quest to overcome my extreme and quite aggravating writers block, I’ve been searching through my writing links. This in hopes that immersion into the “writers” realm will inspire my characters to break through the mental walls of my brain.

During the journey I ran across a great list of Potential Cliche Story Concepts. Strange Horizons created and maintains this list. As I read through the expansive content I found my head bobbing in agreement. Strange Horizon editors/participants put together a thorough, well worded description of “the same old hat”.

Oddly enough, I think this list really triggered my inspiration to explore some unique concepts. My writers mold is in hand and I’m ready to break it on the ground.

Wish me luck, and good luck to you all on breaking your own molds.

Just Can’t Find the Words

November 9, 2009

It’s all there….brewing in my brain. I just can’t find the right creative circulation to write it down. There are just times, I guess, that a writers needs to let it simmer and brew.

And only when it’s boiling over will it come out, in a mass of energy and creative mania, into pc or onto paper.

But I’ll be honest…it’s causing a little mental fragmentation. I’m started to feel like several other people live in my head.

Starting Back Up

October 14, 2009

Yeah…eventually it’s going to happen. You’re rolling along and rocking out your story when WHAM, you’re hit with life.

The kids get sick, you get sick, your day job demands overtime. It happens.

Then after a week or so you’re kids get healthy, you get better, your workload lightens back up.

Now what?

You’re staring blankly at your work that just a week before you were pouring your brain into with a realization you’re lost and not sure where to start.

This is what I faced last night. So, I took the time to really think about this, so I could document it here for future use.

My first instinct was to just start from the beginning of the manuscript to “get back in the flow”. So I started reading. After 3 chapters, I felt further behind then before. I stopped to reconsider my approach.

This is what got me started back up…maybe it’ll work for you.

Goal: To zone in from big picture to a manageable “bite”.

  1. Scanned the storyboard for that chapter
  2. Reviewed last 5 paragraphs written (ignoring editing mistake, which is ripe with distraction potential)
  3. Mentally checked off accomplished bullets from the storyboard
  4. Then, integrating earlier advice from a commenter here, I started the next big scene in the chapter (worry about transition paragraph later, after the flow has opened back up)

Whoa-la! My creativity is flowing and my story is moving along.

Focusing: The Big Picture

September 30, 2009

I’m breaking from novel progress reporting to discuss a topic that affects all writers at one time or another.

Focus.

The greatest strengths a writer can contain. Without focus, a writer has nothing but daydreams and visions. It takes focus to grab those creative thoughts and transfer them into words, then to edit those initial words into a clear and concise story. And finally, to push the finished product towards publication.

This entry will be on the big picture focus. Every writer as a lifetime goal – to be a published author. This may vary on level, ranging from small potatoes to the big time. But it’s there, in the back of every writer’s mind. “I want to be published.”

It’s a great and lofty goal, however, reality has to reach us at some point. To achieve this goal, you have to find the story, write the story, then finish the story.

For me, the tactic was to break down that life goal of publication into manageable milestones and tasks. Yes, I’ve approached this as a project manager. I am a project manager in my day job, so it’s allowed.

The following is the methodology I suggest to you.

First, break up your lifetime goal into incremental milestones. It could be year, two, or five year increments…you’re the boss here. At those milestone points outline a statement of where you want to be in your writing career. Example: In two years, I want to be published in at least one magazine and two anthologies.

Second, break your milestones into actual activities and tasks. This could include blocking writing time, completing grammar or other educational courses, and/or the research and industry knowledge you’ll need to gain.

Now, from this point, you can break it down as far as you need. There are times when my workload gets so heavy, I have to pause and actually define daily goals until I get back on track.

Okay, so you’re ready to try this. Where to start? Two options: paper or pc.

Below are several great articles on focus.

How to Focus on the Task at Hand

How to Focus: Five Levels of Mental Focus You Might Not be Aware of  

How to Focus