The Write Stuff: Find Your Focus

In my morning devotional a bit of wisdom came shining through and I wanted to share it with you.

The book that I’m reading at the moment is about how to find purpose in your life when it seems like it’s on a chaotic tilt toward disaster. Here is what this small section said:

“If you want your life to have impact, focus it! Stop dabbling. Stop trying to do it all. Do less. Prune away even good activities and do only that which matters most. Never confuse activity with productivity. You can be busy without purpose, but what’s the point?”

As an author, and in so many other careers, time management is crucial. You hop onto Facebook or Twitter just for a moment to answer a reader’s message and WHAM four hours have passed and you haven’t written a single word on your manuscript. Sound familiar?

And what about outside influences? Children running through your office like you have

a revolving door? Cell phone buzzing every few minutes? Dishes and laundry screaming at you for attention? Evening meetings that fall smack dab in the middle of the only free time you had set aside to work on that next chapter?

Life gets in the way.

My favorite line of the section listed above is: Never confuse activity with productivity. How many of us feel like we are killing ourselves to be Superwomen and Supermen all for the sake of appearing to maintain a semblance of sanity while we struggle to forge ahead in our writing careers? We hold many hats: editor, graphic designer, publicist, agent, writer, etc and none of these are done well by a single person. It takes a team to publish a book, so why do we try to go it alone?

Money is usually a big factor. Issues with control (this one is me!). Afraid to try something new and trust someone else with your baby. But in reality, doing most of these yourself is not wise. It’s not advisable. You can’t separate yourself from your work in order to be objective enough to edit or fully market your book. You need help and you need focus.

At the end of the day, if you are a writer…be a writer. Stop allowing other “things” to tear you away from that. This is an area that I struggle with. I write because it is a passion of mine. Something that makes me excited to get out of bed. Some of the other things that I have allowed myself to get involved with are not the same sort of passion and over time these project take small crumbles of my schedule until it’s an entire landslide away from my writing. Then a year later I blink and realize that even though I’ve been busting tail I’m no closer to my goal than I was before. I lost my focus in THINGS instead of my PURPOSE.

Stop dabbling. Stop trying to do it all. Do less. That is a message every author should hear.

“Take the path you were set on and do not stray from it until you have met your goal,” Amy Miles

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