As I have started working on book three in the Treaty of Dragons series, I have noticed that it has truly been slow moving. I’ve had a hard time focusing and getting back into writing. It has been something that has concerned me a lot lately as I keep saying I’m going to get work done, but I don’t seem to accomplish a lot.
This morning, the hubby man and I were talking and he asked what I believed my problem was. Did I think it had to do with the way I’d done the light plotting this time? No, I hadn’t really even tried that, so I didn’t think that was the problem. Was I simply not interested in the novel? Oh, definitely not that either. I think this will be a great novel. So, what do I believe is the issue? The last one he mentioned. Do I think I’m struggling because I keep losing focus?
Ah, there it is. I have had more than a month off between books for the holiday. Sure, I’ve been working on the other books, but because of the stages they are in at the moment it uses different parts of my brain so it isn’t that. However, writing something new I haven’t really done with any dedication since the first week in December.
While not writing all that momentum, focus, and drive I had built up died. Anything you don’t practice and do daily tends to dissipate over time. So, I’m back to the point I was right before November. I need to rebuild that momentum and focus back so that I can finish a novel.
Some of the methods that have worked for me in the past and thanks to the hubby man I’m beginning once more are reward systems. While you can’t always do them, sometimes he surprises me with things like he did today.
He purchased me an energy drink, one of my favorites that I can have after I hit 2,500 words. At 5,000, which is what I need to write every day to get the novel finished by the end of the month, he purchased me a small packet of Harry Potter Lego’s. Needless, to say that is a huge motivator for me.
Another thing that has helped me, and that I’m getting back into is meditating. It is a great way to teach yourself to focus. By sitting there peacefully with some quiet nature sounds or such playing in your ears you can practice your focusing technique right there. The moment your mind begins to wander, you bring it back and focus on your breathing. This technique can be used over and over again for your desired amount of time.
Like all muscles the longer you use it, the stronger it becomes so that eventually as you are going throughout your daily life you will realize the times when your mind wanders and be able to bring it back into focus.
I have also used this stronger muscle to help alleviate some of my anxiety. Not all of it, but times when my anxiety is more of a panic attack brought on by loud sounds, or hectic atmospheres. Once it tries to spin out of control and it starts to bring out that fight or flight sensation I bring my focus back to my breathing.
As it is usually rapid, I do six check myself breaths. These are deep breaths in through the nose and slowly releasing them through a narrow opening like a straw in my mouth. This serves the purpose of slowing my breathing and placing my focus back in my control.
Does it always work? Certainly not, but like all things it takes practice to strengthen and I hope one day to be able to handle some of my larger episodes in much the same way. I also want to be able to keep my focus and momentum going between these books as well so I’m not having to start back at the beginning with each novel.
I will get there one day. Until next time, remember to L.O.L. (Live it, Own it, Love it) or it isn’t worth doing.