I'm not one of those writers. I need my mind free of other distractions to create. One of the many reasons I became a full-time fiction writer was to achieve that clarity of mind, because my clients' work occupied too much of my mental landscape.
Now that I have only one small copyediting client left, though, I still have too much mental junk. Here is some of what clutters my brain and destroys my focus:
- My continuing small job for my single client; I receive each newsletter to edit in several pieces over a week or two, so I am often anticipating the next batch of articles.
- Volunteering. I want to give back to organizations I belong to, so I try not to say "no" to every request for help. The result: more things to plan, organize, schedule, do, and think about.
- All the lab tests and doctor and pharmacy visits my health problems require. More scheduling, organizing, and planning.
- Critiquing. I enjoy critiquing my friends' stories, and doing so certainly improves my writing. But it also keeps stories that aren't mine floating about in my head, collecting ideas for improvements.
- Household time sinks, such as the four-hour window that most service people schedule. I find it hard to write when part of my attention must focus on the doorbell.
What are the answers to better clarity of mind? I don't know. Here are some things I've tried, with some success:
- Wearing a special bracelet when I'm writing to remind myself not to sabotage my concentration by wandering the Web and checking Facebook.
- Being mindful of my choices of music or silence, depending on my writing project.
- Getting the mail, eating meals, and taking other breaks at natural stopping points in my writing instead of in the middle of a thought.
- Practicing yoga to develop more control of wandering thoughts.
- "Clear desk, clear mind." The problem is, I hate taking time away from writing to straighten up, so I don't often get the chance to benefit from this technique.
Is your busy life causing problems in focusing on your writing? If so, what solutions have you found?
Thank you for stopping by today. I'll be blogging again at Novel Spaces on August 21. Hope you are having a great summer!