#7. Create Boundaries and Focus
You can lose your focus if you’re distracted. My writing experience has shown me that concentration demands a certain amount of peace and focus. What is your experience? Whatever it is, make it happen. Create an environment that supports you (and others, if you are working in tandem or in a group) in the most effective way. Are you bothered by noise and music? If so, turn it down or turn it off, if possible. Do you need music in the background? Okay, use it in your writing environment.
Whether it’s at home, school, or work, when you’re focusing on a project, try to minimize or eliminate interruptions. Set your smartphone to go directly to voicemail; turn off your email alert; don’t check into Facebook. If you have trouble using a computer due to the distractions, consider using a device like a NEO. This keeps you, and everybody else — if there are others involved — focused on the task. It’s also respectful of everybody’s time.
When writing with others, remember what Henry Ford said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
#8. Take Responsibility
If things aren’t going well on your writing project — or if they aren’t going at the pace you expected — ask yourself “What else can I do?” Don’t blame external forces when things don’t work out. Accept setbacks, and then get on with it. And if there aren’t clear external deadlines, create internal ones to keep your writing on track. Be realistic and flexible. And make sure you don’t take on too much, so that you can always complete quality work.
As Henry Ford summed it up, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — either way, you are right.”
See you next time!