Writing and Focus

by : Rick Chapo

Writing is incredibly enjoyable, but also perplexing. Inevitably, you get the best ideas or breakthroughs when you are nowhere near your computer or pad and paper.

Writing and Focus

If you are a writer, you will inevitably run into that moment when you can’t find the thread of your story. You know it is dangling out there, but it is just beyond your reach. You sit. You stare. You read other things. Still, it will not come. Every writer goes through this scenario. It does not matter if you are writing the great American novel, a sales piece or an article like this one.

Many people refer to this break as writer’s block. Personally, I do not care for the term. I don’t see it as a block, but a loss of focus. Life does not stop just because we want to write. Issues from bills to relationships to the leaky faucet are always in the back of our minds. In my opinion, writer’s block is no more than the loss of focus as our subconscious kicks in with whatever other worries we have.

Regardless of what you call it, there is little doubt that losing your train of thought is maddening. You are sure you had a great thing going, if only you could remember it. It is like waking up from a dream and wishing you had not. So, what can you do to regain the thread and your focus. Sometimes, it is the easiest of things that do that trick.

I write a lot of articles such as this and a few fictional stories for my own enjoyment. I wish the percentages were switched, but there you are. When I lose focus, I have found a solution that almost always works. I sketch out an outline for whatever I am writing about. The outline is more of a list of subjects than a technical plot outline. You will probably laugh at this, but it nearly always works. When it doesn’t, I simply go do something else and then return to the task later.

If you lose focus when writing, consider writing out a brief outline. It works for me and might for you as well.