Friday, February 17, 2012

Part II: What Holds You Back From Being the Best Writer You Can Be? Lack of Focus

Last week, I explored how fear can be a hindrance as we strive to be the best writer God called us to be.
This week I will look at a lack of focus.

Jim Parkin/

Can you answer “yes” to any of these questions?
Have you ever attended a writer’s conference, left excited to start a new project and then about three months later found all your notes in a folder untouched?
Are you easily distracted to a new area of writing, when it probably isn’t what you should try?
Do you subscribe to writer’s magazines that do not get read and books that are started, but never finished?
Did you have rough drafts of articles and chapters, but it has been months since you have worked on them?

I think all of us may be guilty of one of the above, although some things may be due to disorganization (which we will discuss next week). But, many of us try to do too many things.
            I have heard some say that if we specialize, we can become very good at one thing and then we will be known for a certain talent or skill. Some may call it building a brand. I always thought that I was limiting myself when I tried to work in a certain niche, but I think there is truth in that idea.
            A lack of focus causes us to spend too little time on many writing projects and not enough concentrated time on a few that we could make shine.

Here are 4 things that may help you focus:
1.  Ask yourself, “What are my passions?” When we do the things that we are drawn to and enjoy, it isn’t difficult to complete a project. For me those are daily devotionals and short stories.
2.  Also, ask yourself: “What are two or three other areas of writing that I want to explore? Then let yourself investigate those arenas when you have a little time. I am interested in looking into screenwriting, so I keep a list of articles and book titles that I want to read in the future.
3.  Say, “No,” to some good things. I find this to be difficult, as I always think about what I will miss. But, we have to say “no” to the books and blogs we don’t have time to read.  Not to mention the online information, although incredibly interesting, that just doesn't pertain to us.
4.  Pray. Yes, pray for guidance about what should be your focus and how we as Christian writers should spend our time.

How about you, do you have a lack of focus in your writing? If so, what do you do to get yourself back on track?   

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