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StoryMash Creative Storytelling Forum

Forums > Writing Tips and Advice > Staying Focused

2 JD_Renaissance 8 years ago Reply

Many writers find themselves getting distracted when they should be writing. To prevent this, I myself create check lists and goals to keep going.
So, SMer's - What is Your "Secret to Sucess" - How do You Keep Focused on Your Writing?

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2 hebe6405 8 years ago Reply

"High Focus" by BrainSync. It's meditation cd - music at a certain frequency with subliminal messages to help keep me from multitasking. Seems I inherited the art of procrastination from my father. Check lists wouldn't work for me - I'd use that as an excuse to not write.

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2 Aggeloi 8 years ago Reply

Good question! I try to keep to a set schedule - start at a certain time, write for a certain amount of time, take a break for a certain amount of time, etc. That sort of structure helps me stick to it - usually... :)

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2 ajtaylor 8 years ago Reply

Setting a schedule and keeping it is a Good Thing. Even if you only write for one hour per day, that is 5 hours per week, which is probably more than most people who want to be writers do. Lol.
My problem isn't making the time... It is using the time wisely. I am one of those pedantic outliners, consuming 90% of the US supply of 3x5 cards and 6x8 notebook paper. I end up spending all my time trying to get the plot and characters -perfect- and never actually writing a draft, lol.

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2 honeygloom 8 years ago Reply

Oh, I'm a champion procrastinator. I have to have schedules, not check lists. I'm not that great at keeping to schedules either, but I do have some tricks that help. Namely alarms and reminders on my phone that chastise me in to action. I try to make them specific. Not just, "Hey slacker are you writing??!" rather, "at this moment you should be sitting down to work on _____". Post-its work too, I like to stick them in places I might get distracted, like the TV, my knitting bag, my dog's nose (those ones don't stick very well), my husband's forehead, etc.
Great topic JD!!

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2 writerwannabe 8 years ago Reply

I would challenge HG for champeen procrastinator! LOL.
When it comes to writing, if there are no deadlines, I probably would never write. That's what I like about the SM contests. It also helps me if someone else is depending on me..i.e., the SM projects. Otherwise, I'll always find something else to do. Well, not always but most of the time.
I'm writing a novel. I should say I WAS writing a novel. My co-writer had to drop off the project due to severe personal issues and since then, I haven't been able to get myself back into it. No one pushing me. No schedule or deadline...and, okay, a lack of confidence in going it alone...
I've tried making myself a schedule, post its, huge notes on my wall whiteboard. When I DO sit down to work on the novel, nothing comes to me.
Bottom line, SM is keeping me writing and that'll have to do until I figure out how to make myself write outside of SM...lol

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2 dkk4510 8 years ago Reply

What keeps me going?
Knowing that I just put all 3 kids to bed and finally am able to atleast think adult words! This place has become my mommy get away!
Before the kiddos, I used to do all the post-it, reminders, scheduling and all that stuff. But what I found out is all that stuff just pisses me off. lol Seriously, somebody (even if it's just myself) demanding something of me just makes me not want to do it. Authority problem? Probably so! ;) So I started writting just because I damn well felt like it, even though it wasn't so often. Then I started to write more and more, because the more demands I toke away, the more I remembered how to enjoy it all again!
But, ya know, it's just my escape from the kids now!

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1 dkk4510 8 years ago Reply

toke= took
Looks like mommy needs to go to bed too......

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1 nashvillebecker 8 years ago Reply

Hey, look! A chicken!

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1 dkk4510 8 years ago Reply


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1 nashvillebecker 8 years ago Reply


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1 writerwannabe 8 years ago Reply

Cool T-shirt and website!

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2 Josh9585 8 years ago Reply

The only thing I need is some really good music, the problem is that listening to the same music over and over again makes me start to lose my edge and it shows in my work. Right now, I'm using the recently released soundtrack from "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles". It. Is. Amazing! But after a couple weeks its effect will wear off and I'll have to find something new (which may not happen for months at a time!).

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2 hebe6405 8 years ago Reply

Sound tracks are good. My favorites to accompany writing:
Pirates of the Caribbean
Amistad - and anything by John Williams for that matter, but Amistad is a nice, steady pace which doens't require a lot of attention
Hannibal (but not the first track)

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1 JD_Renaissance 8 years ago Reply

I love writing to the Pirates 3 soundtrack - "At Wit's End" is my favorite song on the album. Other favorite soundtracks to write to are: Kingdom of Heaven, Time Machine (The newer movie), Plunkett and Macleane, Gladiator, and Armageddon.

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2 JD_Renaissance 8 years ago Reply

I listen to music while I work also - mostly soundtracks. Music has a way of opening the doors of the imagination and releasing parts of a story that seem deeper within me than when simply writing without it.

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2 writerwannabe 8 years ago Reply

As a musician you'd think I'd listen to music while writing, too....NOT. I find myself paying more attention to the music than concentrating on the story.

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1 crispy 8 years ago Reply

My writing seems to come in waves. I'll write, write, and write until the well is dry. Then I'll take a break to simmer on the story & characters recharge my sanity, and then another wave or story idea will hit me. Perhaps I should adopt a more organized method... something to think about.

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1 synapto 8 years ago Reply

My writing is episodic as well, meaning that it occurs in episodes, not that... yeah, you get the idea. Consequently, a key to success for me is recognizing when the mojo is there and making the best possible use of it.
As for music, I find that sometimes I want to be swept away by some other pattern, spewing forth some kind of translation thereof. Other times, I need silence in order to conjure up something totally (seemingly) unique.

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1 mjm942 8 years ago Reply

I used to only write when I got that special feeling, but lately I've been forcing myself to sit down in front of a blank screen and write. Even if it's just random thoughts on my day's events. Sometimes I get ideas out of it..

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1 NeoShaolin47 7 years, 10 months ago Reply

I walk alot, bieng the security guard that I am, and find that I come up with the most eloquent sentences whilst patrolling. Yet, when I sit down at my post, it's like a window wiper flings all those beutiful raindrops to the road. My solution: keep a recording device on you, and whenever you have an idea, just speak it aloud. Later, listen to it and write down. This seems to work for me, hope it helps.

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1 Ace 7 years, 10 months ago Reply

I've got a magic bus stop. 95% of all my story ideas come to me while I'm waiting for the bus. No idea why that is, but it's like a switch gets flicked in my brain and I HAVE to write. But it only last for about 15 minutes or however long it takes to ride to the subway--I write like one possessed to try and get as much down as possible because once I'm at the station, it's gone. So I totally know how NeoShaolin feels.

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1 Cal_3 7 years, 9 months ago Reply

I try not to rely on being inspired. I feel that if I only hold out till then I'll fail as a writer, not because its wrong mind you but because I want to expand my boundaries.

I find myself writing when I really REALLY dont want to. When I do this, about 15 minutes into the session I'm sprinting and I cant keep up with myself. Likewise, since I write longer fiction than most other people and what I write is pertaining to the stories, I find that I can explore plot points better (and even find some plot holes I need to fill up).

This said I do very much cherish the times in which I am inspired. I make sure that that fuel is drained as much as possible during that session of writing so that the next day can still have an inkling of inspiration because what I wrote was great (usually).

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