Enemies of Good Writing: Self-Focus

Writing can be a lonely endeavor. Most of us choose writing because we do our best work when we’re alone. But sometimes we can be so focused on our writing projects, we forget the world exists outside the pages of our books or beyond our computer screens.

Instead of living your life and enjoying each moment, you live your life as material for your book or blog.

If you find yourself thinking, “Oh, I can’t wait to blog that!” or “That’s the perfect illustration for the next point in my book!” too many times in an average day, you might need to evaluate your focus. It’s great to be passionate about your book, but when you’re more passionate about it than your life, you may need to take a couple steps back to regain proper perspective.

Here are a few things I do to focus on life:

  • Make more eye contact with your family members. Have you gone hours without looking at them, really looking at them?
  • Turn it all off. The computer, the phone, the camera—anything that distracts from being in the moment.
  • Get away. Maybe you need a longer break. Go for a walk, take a drive, or schedule a vacation.
  • Call someone who doesn’t even know what a blog is. It’s always good to remind ourselves that not everyone has a .com after their names, a Twitter handle, or a Facebook fan page.

“Look at the world and try not to look at yourself looking at the world.” Douglas Wilson

Do you struggle with too much self-focus? What do you do to remind yourself it’s not all about your book or blog?

More enemies of good writing:

Comments

  1. Hah! That’s a good point to “call someone who doesn’t even know what a blog is,” Sandra. I sometimes forget that not everyone is a writer!

    These have a been fantastic posts. Thanks for writing them!