The Broken Pieces blog tour continues with this awesome guest post by Melissa Chan, owner of Literary Book Gifts!
It’s a romantic thought: the idea of the author sitting outside under park benches scribbling notes into a leather bound notebook. Or perhaps the author is enjoying a latte at the local coffee shop while drafting their latest work. I’ve seen so many times, in movies and in television, the author “writing” or developing their book well outside of the realms of their office, computer, or typewriter.
I suppose it makes for some more interesting acting and story development in the context of the screen. Any time that I myself have attempted to write, I find that this method of writing or even putting together ideas hardly works for me. Everything becomes disorganized and never really makes it’s way onto the page.
I will offer a couple of concentration tips for writers. Hopefully, they will give you some ideas to try when you feel your attention straying.
#1 Forget any imagery you have of being a writer
The act of writing is anything you want it to be.
The process of putting together a finished piece of work, be it a fictional book, non-fiction book with interviews, or a single poem, all share similar characteristics.
There is work to be done in some sort of process and a finished product to be had.
Sometimes there are major revisions, but in general this is how it works for everyone. If your goal is to achieve the finished product then don’t just stick to one process.
Experiment and see what works for you. In general I find that the aforementioned tv and movie version is not what works for me. Commitment to sitting at my desk for long hours working is the only thing that will produce any outcome, favorable or otherwise.
#2 Take a break
If you don’t feel like writing at the time, then take a break.
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Writing takes time and energy and you may just be tired.
Instead of designing your schedule to write for an hour or so and take a half hour break, try taking an entire weekend off and doing something else entirely.
Many writers have jobs and thus work on nights and weekends leaving no time for a cognitive break to rest and relax the mind. It can be a big difference to spend your weekend away from writing, even if you are just organizing the house, taking a hike, or spending an afternoon baking.
These days, it can be easy to turn on a podcast or watch a quick 25 minute tv show and tell yourself you will be back to work straight away. I find that although these methods can get my mind off of my own story quickly, the break is not really long enough to have a real effect.
I find myself sluggish and lacking concentration when I return the computer soon after. Optimizing breaks and relaxation always tends to make me feel like I’ve wasted time. So when you can, take a real break from thinking. Give yourself enough time for both your body and your mind to unwind and relax.
Melissa Chan is the founder and copywriter for Literary Book Gifts, a store with t-shirts and tote bags for gift lovers everywhere. With designs such as Moby Dick and The Wind in the Willows, there is truly something in the collection for everyone. (If you are considering doing a blog tour, please get in touch, I would love to talk about supplying the giveaway prize for the event.)
I congratulate all aspiring authors for trying to do something creative with their lives. I hope these tips help you with your journey as a writer, thank you so much for reading them.
Do you have any great tips for concentration? I’d love to hear them in the comments.
Excellent tips Melissa! Thank you for sharing such an insightful post.
Be sure to check out Literary Book Gifts, everyone. They have a ton of beautiful merchandise book lovers everywhere will die for.
And be sure to check out the first post in my blog tour where you can enter a giveaway and win one of Literary Book Gifts t-shirt of your choice should you be the winner!