When you can’t find the focus..
A friend of mine works in social services. Her job is a difficult one–one that I could never do. She works with abused children. Somewhere along the way, she learned to compartmentalize the various aspects of her work. She has a skill that enables her to turn off what she has seen and heard during her work hours to better enjoy her non-working hours. I’m sure this is not at all unfamiliar to the skills doctors, firefighters and paramedics use. These people seem to have some type of OFF button as well as a FOCUS button that they use interchangeably.
With writers, one would hope it would be the same. The ability to turn a fictional world on and off by simply telling your brain to do so. The ability to push life’s other issues aside in order to focus solely on the task at hand and write productively. Perhaps many writers do have this skill. I know many writers however, who don’t.
When there are a million other random everyday thoughts swirling in your head, it can be very difficult to focus on the writing work that needs to be done. To put your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keys. I’ve tried. Which got me thinking. What distinguishes these types of people? And further more, the different types of writers. What is the distinction between plotters and pantsters. Planners versus non- planners. And why? The differences may be in our brains. Specifically, whether you are a left or right brain thinker. I did some digging and voila. I found a few articles that may unlock the questions and help us on the way to finding some balance.
Laura Connell has an interesting article at Matthew Stibbe’s Blog: Left Brain Vs. Right Brain for Writers
And Matthew Stibbe has an excellent article on staying focused: Concentration: 22 ways to stay focused on writing
If we can harness what is driving us in a certain direction, putting the butt in the chair and the fingers on the keys, will be a much simpler task to accomplish. It’s certainly worth a shot.