Posts Tagged ‘#amwriting’

I recently took the challenge of dragging my carcass through the Savage Race mud a few weeks ago and it reminded me how I’ve learned to “cross apply” (rhymes with ‘multiply’) different aspects of my life. Finding Focus
This obstacle course race was a good tune-up for American Ninja Warrior. Aside from having an immense amount of fun, I learned something. Actually, it really reminded of something.
It’s easy to get caught up in the 7+ miles and 26 different obstacles you have to traverse, but if you don’t focus on the one at hand, if you don’t focus on one step at a time, you stumble.
Duh, we should all know that.
But taking the same focus, that same intensity elsewhere in our lives reminded me how I need to push the ‘outside’ away and focus on the item at hand. At the Savage Race, if you lose focus, you’ll probably splash into a cold mud puddle, quickly scraping to get yourself out.
When I’m writing, I need to be ‘inside’ the story. So focused that I don’t miss the special details that can make a scene memorable.
The acrid scent of burnt gun powder floating from the tip of the antagonist’s gun after he just shot a character I love.
The screeching, almost scream-like sound that pierced the air as the antagonist sped away in his throaty Mustang still colored with two enormous black racing stripes running from hood to bumper.
If I’m not focused, I don’t see, hear or touch these vibrant elements. And neither does your reader.
That’s not to say that the reader’s imagination won’t fill it in with his own details, but you should still control the high-level aspects of the scene.
And yet, we should learn to apply focus to all areas of our life.
At work, it’s easy to get distracted. Conversations, walk-by’s. You have 128 new emails in your inbox and an instant message blinking its way into your attention.
But stay focused. Finish one thing at a time.
Humans cannot multi-task. So don’t try.
In human terms, multi-tasking really means interrupting one task to start or do another. You’re really just bouncing around. Switching contexts. Because you switch contexts so easily, you think you’re multi-tasking. But you’re really not.
Want to test it?
Go ahead.
Put a pencil in each hand and write your name.
It won’t come out good.
But if you focus with one hand and do it to the best of your ability, you’d be surprised at how beautiful you can write. Michelangelo painted with one hand at a time and look where it got him.

Find your balance

Posted: January 15, 2016 in Life, Writing

On a recent break from the stresses of modern day living, I had a chance to test my balance with an exceptional Yoga instructor we found in Lake Tahoe. Apparently, I have quite a way to go. But I was promised by the fact that when I did focus on my balance, I did better.Warrior_two

As always, I thought, how can I translate this to my writing?

Glad I asked. After publishing my first book earlier this year (The Carrington Event), I’ve spent time promoting it, building the marketing machine, measuring what works and what doesn’t. I’ve also worked on the sequel as most of my readers have been emailing and pestering me for the follow up – how encouraging 🙂

But as I crack open Scrivener, I find I’m way behind schedule. First, I wanted to be done in time for this past Holiday season. Well, that didn’t happen. Then I thought maybe two-thirds of the way done by New Years. That didn’t happen either.

What did happen, with fortune falling my way, was taking a short vacation after the new year having time to rejuvenate my writing. I sunk in and remembered why I love writing so much. Seems I’ve just been finding those old excuses not to get up at 6 in the morning to make a little headway, or to feel too tired to do anything at night. And then the weekends are just a chance to rest or something that doesn’t involve writing.

I lost my balance.

I pumped out a quality chunk of about 10,000 words in 4 days – with more exciting twists and turns and so much fun that I’m putting in all those little times that help you GET IT DONE. Which is a goal we should never lose.

Writing for yourself is primo. But if you never finish it, then no one will get the chance to experience that journey with you.

So find your balance. It’s a new year. Don’t get lost in the haze of something, anything that’s keeping you from finishing your story. I’m sure it’s a story worth fighting for.