Note: This post first appeared on American Christian Fiction Writers site.
“Stay focused; do not lose sight of mercy and truth . . . ” (Proverb 3:3a VOICE)
You know what they say . . . “A picture is worth a thousand words.” But what if the picture was blurry and out of focus? It’s worthless.
Or is it?
Have you noticed when you first press the screen on your phone to take a picture, it goes fuzzy before taking the perfect, clear shot? It has to go out of focus before going into focus.
Lately, I’ve been feeling the same thing about my writing. Unfocused. I settle in to write and find myself getting distracted. Ding! Was that an email?
There are too many competing priorities trying to gobble up our time. We need to take back our lives. So, how do we do it?
Here are some ideas I’ve put into practice lately.
Get rid of distractions – Limit the amount of TV we watch in the evenings. I love being able to PVR my favorite show because after I write for a specific amount of time, I can treat myself and watch it before bedtime. Also, turn off social media while writing. This includes email and our phones. I’m bad about leaving my cell beside me and when I see the light flashing . . . well, you know what happens.
Clean our writing corners – Getting rid of clutter helps. My writing area is also my painting corner, so I have projects as well as papers on a table. It can get messy and distracting. When it does, I find myself not wanting to write there. I took some time a few weeks ago to declutterize. It felt good and keeps me motivated to stay in my writing corner. Keep it clean!
Go somewhere out of the norm to write – Need to be inspired and find a new character for your next book? Take your laptop or journal to your favorite café and write. It’s a great way to sit and watch others interacting and maybe catch a few conversations (inconspicuously of course). I found a new spot I’m going to weekly. It’s a smaller café, so it has less traffic and is a great place to concentrate.
Go on a writer’s retreat – Book a weekend away to write! Plan a quarterly trip. This could be for one night or more, depending on your pocket book. There’s just something to be said about getting away from our homes to write. It forces us to put our fingers to keyboard or pen to paper.
These are a few ideas that help me focus on writing. You may have others.
But what about my faith? Yes, the lens of my faith camera can also get fuzzy. Satan uses distractions to pull me away. These can be little or big, but it doesn’t matter. They’re still distractions.
I need to keep myself focused and in constant communion with God and in His word. Being equipped with His full armor will put the blurriness into clear focus and my eyes on Him!