Three Things You Can Do Today to Focus Your Writing
by Tracie Nall
My mind was racing, but the cursor wasn’t moving. I had so many ideas but could produce so
few words. My thoughts were scattered, and my sentences were disjointed. It seemed every
time I tried to write, I did everything but write.
As writers, we have plenty to distract us from writing. We don’t only craft words, we curate
content and create graphics. We build platforms, engage with our audience, maintain social
media presence, practice our skills and promote our product. With so much to do, our attention is often divided among distractions, demands and deadlines. We often feel fragmented rather than focused.
Here are three simple things you can do today to move your mind and writing from fragmented to focused:
1. Close Your Computer.
I know it sounds counterintuitive but STOP writing. Put down your pen (if you are old school like me); save your document; close your computer. Take a brain break. Sometimes in order to focus, we need to stop focusing. There is a fine line between focused and fixated. The word “focus” means “a point of concentration, a state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding,” but “fixated” means “overly focused, command attention exclusively and obsessively.” We can be so focused that we become fixated, and fixating is paralyzing.
2. Open Your Bible.
Our words to others are the overflow of the Word in us. Pick up your Bible, turn to a
psalm or a favorite passage, and sit with the Scriptures. I was recently studying a
specific passage for a microblog and was stuck, uninspired by the inspired Word of God.
I left that passage and turned to Job 38, where God questions Job. The reminder of
God’s vast creative work was just the spark to ignite inspiration. Inspiration has to flow; it can’t be forced.
3. Change Your Location.
Sitting in the same space can cause us to become mentally stagnant. Lace up your tennis shoes, and go for a walk. Grab your keys, and take a scenic route. Take your journal, and get some java at a coffee shop. Move to a different space in your home. Then take notice of the different sounds, sights, smells and sensations. A different space or place can invigorate the senses and enhance creativity. Changing your environment can stimulate you mentally and creatively.
As writers, staying focused will likely always be a struggle, but without focus, our writing will
always suffer. When our attention is divided and our mind is distracted, our word count is
diminished. Don’t lose heart, friend.
First, remember that God has called us to write, so He will equip and enable us through His
strength to do so. (Philippians 4:13) Second, there are simple things we can do to move from
fragmented or fixated to focused in our writing. Finally, God has not given us a spirit of fear or
timidity but of power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7) We can focus!
For His glory,
Tracie Gunther Nall
What is one simple thing you have done that helped you focus in your writing? Share your tip in the comments below!
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