Time to Hunker Down


Hercules – Largest Liger
Guinness World Records 2012
Photo Credit: Jamers Ellerker/GuinnessWorld Records
Location: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA

People ask how I’ve written, edited and published books/projects in short time-spans in the past.  The answer is: focus.

How each of us focuses is going to be different.  For some, that focus comes through forcing oneself to sit down everyday with a goal, not “allowing” themselves to get up until that goal is reached.  For others, that focus comes through getting alone in a quiet atmosphere with nothing but a computer, warm yellow lamp, scented candles and a goal.  Yet others must sit with earphones, a cup of tea and an hourly goal before getting up for a break.

I’m a mixed writing animal.  Kind of like a liger, I guess.  I take elements from visual learners, linear thinkers and caffeine amped-up college students, and fitness freaks.  Combined with my own special breed of…me.

And it’s time to hunker down and get focused.  For me, that means the following:

  • Stop watching t.v./movies
  • Focus the playlist to the type of music my fictional band would produce
  • Light up the Christmas lights and candles (ambiance makes all the difference for me)
  • Heat up the teapot
  • Pull out the dumbbells
  • Stay off of Facebook
  • Take breaks from writing with music books
  • Take breaks from writing with my guitar
  • Re-read the prior 3 chapters to the current one
  • Daily re-read the song list of my fictional band
  • Regularly review the “to do” list for the book (things to add or change as the book is revised)

Many of these things have exceptions (such t.v./movies–if they are in the right era or mood of the book I’m writing, that’s a perfectly relaxation activity for a break between writing stints), but for the most part, I have to stick to this list if I want to finish my book completely by my May 17 publication date.

How do you focus for your writing projects?