General, writing

About Focus

The last couple of weeks I’ve been having a ridiculous time focusing on any one project. As much as it irks me, I also know there’s about a dozen different reasons my focus has vanished. Whether it’s stress, the fact the weather is changing, or maybe I just haven’t been eating as well as I should, the fact is my focus is gone. Pondering the reasons why I have zero ability to stick to one project also lead me into wondering why I’d determined I could only work on one at a time.

I am a serial un-finisher. I don’t want to even attempt putting a number on the drafts that are sitting in my writing folder that will probably never hit ‘the end’. I’ve long since learned when working on a novel that if I don’t manage to make it to chapter ten in a fairly short order…that poor novel is probably never going to make it to the end. I’ve done this so many times I can pinpoint the make or break point and it’s usually chapter ten. Anytime I start getting distracted before chapter ten and we run into the secondary problem:

Shiny New Project Syndrome. Oh boy is this one my big one. Because that idea seems so brilliant and I’ve hit a slow spot in the current project anyways, so maybe if I just write a little bit on it–and now I have six chapters of a new project and you guessed it, the original story is still sitting somewhere below chapter ten. I might eventually open up that project again and look at it, which leads me to:

Chronic restarting. I’ve mentioned a couple of times before that I’m a pantser or discovery writer, so I tend to just write and figure I’ll fix it later. The problem is, this leads to some plot holes, which make more sense if Character A is actually married to Person B, and then that sends me down a rabbit hole of wanting to see how that interaction would actually look, never mind putting that note down to work on it during edits. I’ve already long-since learned that trying to edit while I write is a bad idea for me.

All of this, I’ve learned, while not entirely alleviated, helps if I’m focusing on a singular project at a time–be that a high fantasy dripping with magic and honorable young princesses, or a sci-fi with a tech-savvy engineer running from an corrupt corporate overlord. Which is where we run into the problem where my ability to focus has taken a swandive down the drain.

While I’m trying to pinpoint the source of whatever is effectively stopping up my focus, I’m curious: What are the reasons you have for working on one or multiple stories at a time?


5 thoughts on “About Focus”

  1. Oh I can totally relate to the chronic un-finishing and always starting new projects. It’s so hard for me to find motivation for stuff when I get to slow parts of my stories so I end up just letting it sit there until I come up with an idea for a new story and then moving on to that! I feel like if I outlined my projects more when I started them then it wouldn’t be as much of an issue but I haaaaaaate making outlines!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. When I was still in school I used to only ever make really half-assed outlines unless told otherwise. They’re so worth it to have in the long run but just feel pointless and time consuming in the beginning.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. For school I skipped outlines a lot and just went straight into the rough drafts. It was easier to go back and map out what I’d already done than fight to get it on paper in the format I was supposed to use before I started writing.


      3. Oh I should’ve done that… I was too much of a rule follower to think of doing my assignments out of order like that lol

        Liked by 1 person

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