I’ve been trying to shut the world away for a minute and write.
It’s not easy, of course. Distractions abound, habits ingrained so deeply, the mind constantly drifts away from the task at hand, wondering about social media, email.
I was just reading someplace that Maya Angelou never wrote at home. She had a beautiful house, serene garden, plenty of room, but she preferred to go someplace quiet where she’d be difficult to reach.
No wonder her writing sang, and she produced a plethora of works.
Staying focused is a struggle.
But this discipline is non-negotiable for writers. It’s essential for anyone serious about completing work. It doesn’t matter if we have to trick ourselves into focusing — like Maya Angelou did, to a degree. If we’re going to complete works that matter, we have to stop chasing shiny objects and do the work.
Half-finished paintings don’t make it into museums.
Half-drawn blueprints don’t make for well-constructed buildings (or any buildings).
Half-finished songs are soon forgotten.
And half-finished manuscripts don’t make for much of a story.
Paraphrasing from an article I’ve read some time back above, but everything resonates.
So, absence is presence of mind elsewhere — in the story slowly coming together. Sometimes, the only way to focus is to turn off the noise, shut the proverbial door. Live in a different world where the story lives.
As The Seekers sang in A World of Our Own:
Close the doors, light the lights/We’re stayin’ home tonight/Far away from the bustle and the bright city lights/Let them all fade away/And we’ll live in a world of our own.
~ When life and worldly forces pull you in so many different directions, how do you stay focused?
Image courtesy: brokenbelievers.com