#MuseMonday – The Art Of Staying Focused

Heya all! And a happy Monday – hopefully, a good one.

My brain is like a train station – or an airport. Incessant traffic, noise, arriving and departing thoughts, to any outsider (and who will probe my brain, really??), my mind is busy – very busy. I have a tendency to follow tangents, think of something to then think of something else one second later, and when I write, this can be an issue. Plotting helps determine the path I choose to follow with my story, but more often than not, I get side-tracked and sometimes I get side-tracked so much, I forget what my main plot objective was.

I learned that any first draft contains only 5-10% of good stuff, and another 5-10% of reusable stuff, the rest can pretty much be tossed away and rewritten. I am trying to find a way to make my writing process more time efficient, and to that effect, am working really hard not to let my thoughts wander on too many dead ends.

One solution I found is meditation. I know it sounds corny as hell, but the art of quieting the mind and finding the one thought that will keep me focused has actually helped me a lot, first to prevent me from losing my cool, and getting frustrated with my plot, and also to provide guidance. So here’s my process. I take a deep breath, repeat in my thoughts one word, and let my mind do the rest. If I’m looking for an answer – in case I have a bad case of writer’s block – I usually get something I can reuse later. Some authors let their thoughts loose on a piece of paper, but this method hasn’t worked for me so well. I need to quiet the mind first before trying anything else. meditation

This is not a perfect exercise. I have many moments where my mind just wants to wander, and it is very difficult to shush the noise. But practice makes perfect. Julie Jones in 32 Seconds gets to experience meditation as well – and gosh only knows how much she hates to quiet her mind.

Alright folks, hope your day brings little stress – but if it does bring the inevitable “I can’t take this s*** anymore” – try some meditation. It might help (and no, you don’t have to sit in the lotus position)!

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