Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: staying focused

I am in the final stages of revisions on my novel and I need to stay focused. It is so easy for me to get distracted. In one moment it might be the pain in my right wrist that didn't go away with a cortisone shot in the trigger finger. On another day, it might be my heart going into a-fib. Or it might be a family member who needs my attention. Or...well you get the idea. What I've learned is to not let the distractions keep me from writing on a given day. As I have grown older, I've also grown the ability to let the distractions go and focus on the task at hand. Before, I'd get so caught up in my emotions, it was impossible to focus. It helps for me to process the emotions first, either by writing or talking with someone.

As I go line by line thru the book, looking for repetitive words, better metaphors, improve dialogue, remove superfluous words, etc., my brain gets tired. I don't push through that feeling. I take a break.
This is why setting word count goals don't work for me, because I need to pay attention to my rhythms and my body and listen when it tells me to stop.

How about you? How do you stay focused?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You have to do what works for you. Those kinds of goals work for me, because that is my focus. I will complete and accomplish no matter what.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

It is hard for me sometimes to stay focused because my mind tends to wander a lot. I am a daydreamer LOL

Karen Walker said...

Yup, that's true, Alex. Different strokes for different folks.
Keith, LOL, is right.

Suze said...

:) I like Keith's comment.

All I know, Karen, is that you will finish and you will be proud.

Mason Canyon said...

Sounds like you've found a good system that's working, Karen. For me, every day is different. What worked yesterday probably won't work today. :)

Robin said...

When I get tired (or just weary of looking at my WiP) I will often read a book that I have already read just so that I can read to study the craft. Or I will read a book on writing. I don't consider that time wasted. I usually come back better it!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I can write daily (like I am now) but it's on my own time and flow. I actually write more when I do that.

Manzanita said...

I can't stay focused on anything right now because I'm in my Mercury Dasha in Vedic astrology. It's terribly annoying and I never seem able to finish projects. Good luck and it must feel great to be that far.

Tonja said...

Lately I've decided to commit blocks of time to my writing instead of word count goals. Sometimes those goals can cause a distraction too. Good luck. I hope you start feeling better - awesome that you are pushing through it to get your novel done.