focus

I wonder if other writers/bloggers find themselves having any of these problems frequently:

  1. Coming up with lots of writing ideas and getting one or two paragraphs into each and then finding that the exploration of those topics wasn’t as interesting as it first might seem to be;
  2. Writing something, then thinking it is either too personal or too depressing or too silly or too whatever, even though it might be a good piece of writing;
  3. Becoming discouraged from writing because you’re distracted too often – i.e. simply being unable to concentrate.  Incidentally, the book Focus that I mention below made me realize this might be more of a problem for me than I thought it was.

I have all three of those problems, but unfortunately #1 is the one that kills 90% of my writing.  I have dozens and dozens of 1, 2, or 3 paragraph blog posts started, 3 eBooks with about 10-12 pages apiece, and 2 novels with one chapter apiece.  I started two other blogs besides this one that did fairly well for a while, but I lost interest in the subject matter (one was family/child oriented and the other was focused on the accounting/audit industry).

I’ll have to reread the aforementioned Focus by Leo Babuta again – I read it quickly in two lunch breaks this week – because if you want to do anything well you have to focus on it.  Leo’s written a nice little book with some practical tips, which were nice and helpful.  The overall theme of focus, though,  and why it’s not just an important thing but the MAIN thing in any endeavor really fired off a few of my own neurons.  I realize I can focus, simply because I’ve spent a few weeks building an incredibly complex financial model for a client, and they’ve been very pleased with the result.  So I know I’m capable of it.  But I don’t do it nearly as often as I should, and in certain areas I’ve let my focus atrophy to the point it’s non-existent, which is a very, very bad thing.

Originally this was going to be part of my roundup post yesterday, but I decided it could stand on its own.  But even that decision indicates I have a certain start-stop-start-stop mentality of not having a clear idea where I’m headed with something when I start it. I can be very good about focusing on my own habits, but that has to be coupled with a strong focus on goals, which unfortunately change too frequently for me.  I’ll have to take my one-habit-per-month plan and start adding goals, not just habit changes.  Because sometimes a nice long walk in the park can be pleasant, but if you don’t plan to end up in a certain location – i.e. back at your car, or your house or whatever – it’s not called a walk, it’s called “getting lost in the park.”