Once you have set up boundaries on what you will and will not sacrifice, you realize you need to make the most of the time you commit to your writing. This demands focus. To truly focus, you have to know what is best for you.
- Know the best location for your writing. Stephen King wrote, “The space can be humble (probably should be), and it really needs only one thing: a door which you are willing to shut. The closed door is your way of telling the world and yourself that you mean business; you have made a serious commitment to write and intend to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.” I love that! You don’t have to have your own office space. You don’t have to have a big desk. All you need is what works best for you (of course, if a big desk in your own office is what you need and what you have–go for it!). Shut the door, get comfortable, and get to work.
- Know the best time of day for your writing. If you wake up with new ideas and can’t wait to get them on paper/screen, mornings may be the best time for you to write. Or you may prefer the slower pace of the evenings, when you know you aren’t missing anything good on TV anyway, to focus on writing. Maybe it’s right after lunch when you’re at your best. Pay attention to your energy levels and ability to focus through the day to determine when you’ll be at your most creative.
- Know the best tools for your writing. I need a few things when I’m writing. I need my computer, my favorite Bible, and any other books I may be referencing. I also like to have my idea journal and my favorite Sharpie pen, just in case I need to jot something down for another time. I need dictionary.com and thesaurus.com to be just a click away. I try to get all the tools together before I start so I don’t have to stop the flow of words to find a pen or look for a book.
- Know the best conditions for your writing. Do you like to have a full cup of coffee nearby? Do you like the ceiling fan going? Do you have favorite background music? Before you sit down to write, make sure all the conditions are perfect so you can give your words your full attention.
Good writing demands focus. Know yourself and prepare accordingly. Stop the excuses. Cut down on distractions. Then you are free to focus.
“Come to [writing] anyway but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page . . . If you can take it seriously, we can do business. If you can’t or won’t, it’s time for you to close the book and do something else.” Stephen King
What helps you focus on your writing? What’s the best location, time of day, tools, or conditions? Share what works for you in the comments or on our Facebook page.
Good writing also demands: