Many of us face this problem of staying focused. We know that we are writers. We know that we have to write. We know that we have to put all the ideas teeming in our mind, on paper (or computer). But the minute you prepare yourself to write something, your hand doesn’t move. Or more frustratingly, you keep on delaying it for various nonsense reasons.
Now some may call it writer’s block. But I know many proficient writers and even experts who outrightly say no to this idea of writer’s block.
“Writer’s block occurs when a writer has nothing to say. Unfortunately, not all writers experience it.”
― Ron Brackin
See! Writer’s block, in reality, a fancy term for avoiding what you should be doing. There might be unforeseen circumstances. But writers or people with dreams always find ways. J.D.Salinger got immensely popular with his single novel – Catcher in the Rye. And believe it or not. He finished his draft during the World War II, sitting in the bunkers, finding every single moment to scribble his thoughts.
So please don’t wait for the inspiration to hit your or the muse to sing to you but find the ways that will work for you.
Earlier I wrote about some ways to beat this so-called “Writer’s Block.” Check this out. But most importantly follow a routine.
“Discipline allows magic. To be a writer is to be the very best of assassins. You do not sit down and write every day to force the Muse to show up. You get into the habit of writing every day so that when she shows up, you have the maximum chance of catching her, bashing her on the head, and squeezing every last drop out of that bitch.” ― Lili St. Crow
Find your writing corners in the house, in cafes, parks, restaurants or wherever you feel comfortable. It is not necessary to stick to one place every day. I sometimes go so irritatingly restless, sitting in the same place at home. Sometimes I spent a few extra hours in the office. Sometimes I just go and sit under a shady tree. The point is, you need to find and mark all the places that make you happy and then FOLLOW the routine below:
Step #1: PLAN THE WRITING
Always, always plan your writing. You might have heard people saying, ‘I don’t plan. I just write as the ideas come to my mind.’
Well, it is a very childish approach. Do you think J K Rowling just wrote Harry Potter series at the whim of her imagination?
You need a plan. It is not mechanical but a plan I important to stay focused.
Plan who you are writing for.
Plan exactly what are you writing.
Plan the title – try to make it catchy.
Plan the sub-headings or better still different sections.
So basically, aim to have an overall plan what exactly you want to write. This helps you to stay focused and you are able to be more productive as you will have time to research your topic before you actually start to write.
Step #2: PREPARE TO WRITE:
Prepare to write by no way means that just start writing. You have to prepare your environment for writing. Check out all the unnecessary distractions that can stop you from writing. Check your emails (there might not be a new mail for days).
Check your social media. Scroll down your feeds for a decent time. Play those online games. Once you have your time-wasting routine done, get hold of your coffee and tea, snacks, chocolates or whatever you need to munch on.
You are ready to jump to the next step.
Step #3: PRODUCE:
Now is the time for your first step. Just sit and set an alarm for 20 to 30 minutes. Make sure that you do not move for these set minutes.
You can actually start by typing the headings and subheadings. But the trick is not to stop. After the set time, you can reward yourself with a break. Come back to your spot and finish your piece.
And finally, do your editing.
The trick is to be persistent. Give yourself 20 to 30 minutes every single day. I prefer the morning time before you start your routine daily life. But it’s totally up to you to decide a convenient time. There might be days when you won’t be able to squeeze in 20 minutes. That is okay. There are always exceptions
It is not difficult. You just need the passion to stand out from the rest.
Best of luck.