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Freckles
10-19-2006, 09:43 PM
I haven't seen one of these around, and since I could REALLY :D use the advice today, I took the initiative.

There are so many distractions out there. How do YOU stay focused and keep typing - or writing, if that's your thing?

RMH
10-19-2006, 10:01 PM
I usually make a list of everything I want to get done during the week. Then, each day, I decide what to do and how much time I need to do the task.

I also take breaks (like the one I'm taking now :)) to check out forums, or walk around, throw in a load of laundry, etc.

It can be hard to stay motivated - some weeks I struggle more than others. But keeping lists helps me stay focused.

Kudra
10-19-2006, 10:29 PM
I have one word for you: Deadlines.

lobiso
10-19-2006, 11:17 PM
This topic caught my attention because I'm having a focus problem right now. For me, it's keeping my almost-empty checkbook in sight, to remind me that if I don't write, I don't add to the checkbook balance.

Sometimes I also keep a reminder close by of something I want, that I'll be able to get when I meet the next deadline..

Moonfish
10-19-2006, 11:26 PM
I freelance write for newspapers and there I agree - biggest motivator is deadlines. If I don't meet them, I won't get another job from the paper.

But with my OWN writing it's a different potatoe. I still haven't figured out a good way to keep motivated... I did take my cue from Stephen King though: he has a word-limit each day and I thought; if he can, so can I. And it works. Sometimes. Sometimes not so much when I can't even motivate me to the computer, or off the internet...

Arisa81
10-20-2006, 01:00 AM
What works for me is making daily to-do lists. Of course, I need to keep it right in front of me all the time so that I don't get off track (like I am right now, I am so behind).
But sometimes even that isn't enough for me. Deadlines of my own don't work for me, too easy to break. Other people giving me deadlines, much better.

Hmm...a word limit sounds quite interesting. Mine might have to be a page limit since I do most of my writing on paper first.

jdkiggins
10-20-2006, 03:17 AM
Great question, Freckles. You've received some suggestions here.


Trying to stay focused is something every writer faces during his or her writing career. So with that in mind, I'm going to port this subject to the AW Roundtable. I hope others join in the discussion and add their comments about how they stay focused.

aadams73
10-20-2006, 03:22 AM
Here's my biggest tip for staying motivated: If I don't sit in the chair and type, my books will never be on the shelves.

I tell myself that every time I try to do something else during my writing time.

Pretty sobering.

jbal
10-20-2006, 03:24 AM
This topic caught my attention because I'm having a focus problem right now. For me, it's keeping my almost-empty checkbook in sight, to remind me that if I don't write, I don't add to the checkbook balance.

Sometimes I also keep a reminder close by of something I want, that I'll be able to get when I meet the next deadline..
But you're a writer! creative types like us can just write whatever we want in the checkbook!

Rolling Thunder
10-20-2006, 03:32 AM
Sometimes I need to allow the distractions to take me away from writing. Usually some ideas will develop and I'll jot them down. After a time I'll start to think about one more than the others, turning it over in my mind until I just have to put it down on paper.

Cyjon
10-20-2006, 10:21 AM
I've been struggling with this myself. Deadlines help, as mentioned above, but I'm early enough in my career that I don't have much in the way of deadlines yet. I do remember on my first HowToDoThings article I had 30 days to do it...and turned it in less than a half-hour before the deadline. Yeesh.

My biggest distraction is computer games. I have a dedicated gaming/video editing computer and the rule is I am not allowed to turn it on until 4 pm. I even obey that rule most of the time.

I'm also implementing a "do at least one thing each day" rule which is working out so far. Each day I have to send a query, respond to a freelance ad, submit an article to some place like HTDT, or whatever. Often just that one thing will kick start the whole process for the day.

Moonfish
10-20-2006, 11:19 AM
I'm also implementing a "do at least one thing each day" rule which is working out so far. Each day I have to send a query, respond to a freelance ad, submit an article to some place like HTDT, or whatever. Often just that one thing will kick start the whole process for the day.

That is a really good idea! I think I'll try that myself. Thank's!

KTC
10-20-2006, 02:18 PM
I honestly don't worry about staying focused. It is a physically impossible task for me. I'm always doing everything at once. I probably have undiagnosed ADHD? I can't think about trying to stay on task. I do have faith that I never miss a deadline, so if I'm frittering away my time it's my problem. Once the deadline nears I just hunker down and do it. I'm chaotic...it works for me. Knowing that I have to work through the chaos gives me that push to get things done within the unfocused storm going on around me.

BottomlessCup
10-20-2006, 09:14 PM
Honestly, booze.

A bit of a buzz doubles my output.

Freckles
10-21-2006, 02:11 AM
nice one, bottom!