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  • Writer's pictureCherry Northcutt

Staying Focused

January 29, 2019

A fellow writer recently asked me, “how do you stay focused?”

Good question. Especially now that I’m still trying to get back into the swing of things after Christmas. I’m having a hard time with that.

There’s plenty of expert advice out there from big-time authors.

James Patterson says to commit to at least one hour of writing each day. He says, “Writing is your job. Show up for work!”

Stephen King advises that you should remove all distractions. Set up a room in your house with a door that locks and has no window. That sounds a little creepy already. This is to shut out all family members who might come in for a chat while you’re trying to write.

Lauren Graham got some advice that she passed along in her autobiography, Talking as Fast as I Can. She also says to remove all distractions, including the internet, TV, music etc. She does not mention a windowless, locked room but she does say to inform everyone in your household that you are, “doing an hour.” Then she says to set a timer and write for an hour. She said to have two documents open; your work in progress and your personal journal. You can alternate between writing in either one of these documents. After the timer goes off, take a break. Then, if you have time, do another hour.

We all know that J. K. Rowling began writing Harry Potter in a coffee shop. That might be distracting for some, but I understand the need to get out of the house if I hope to get any writing done.

The bottom line is, every writer is different. They all have a different process. Find out what works for you and then commit to it.

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