Monday, 11 August 2014

The Write Focus


I mentioned on twitter last week that I sometimes have trouble focusing on which project I should be writing or finishing first and received a few replies from fellow writers, empathising and agreeing that it happens to them too. Maybe it goes with the job, or perhaps it depends on personality type and that old question if we are we plotters or pantsters. I still can't plot or plan in advance, much as I think it might help at times!

Perhaps it's more to do with the seasons. Summer is my least favourite season because I don't like too much heat, or the expectation I should be outside more often, so I find it more difficult to concentrate on a writing project at this time of year. Conversely, I actually get quite excited about the thought of autumn arriving soon (though it's quite autumnal here today) and I'm sure my eagerness to work will increase as the days and nights become darker and cooler.

Right now, I have the following to finish - these are all at various stages:

  • Middle grade time-slip book to Ancient Egypt
  • Contemporary novel set in Scotland
  • Two contemporary novellas
  • Victorian crime novel (eventually)

This is not including the half dozen or so other ideas (at least) that have a few paragraphs here and there, or all the short stories, articles and poetry that I want to go through and try to use, or all the ideas that are only a title and line or two in my notebook. You can see why I need to organise my writing time more effectively!

So that's my aim for the middle of September onwards: finish what I've started and find a consistent way of working. Meanwhile, I'm waiting for news of one novel's fate and, strangely enough, that's also interrupting my concentration, as this one is important to me.

If anyone else is struggling with writing focus, you might find this article interesting, How to Create a Writing Schedule that Works for You.

Rosemary


19 comments:

Patsy said...

I tend to write much less in spring and summer and more when it's dark and wet too, though not for the same reasons. I also flit between projects quite a bit even though I plan and plot.

Patsy said...
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Patsy said...
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Patsy said...

I also repeat myself ...

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I guess many of us do the same, Patsy! I'll delete a couple of your repeats, if you don't mind!

Rosemary Gemmell said...
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Jean Bull said...

I think the summer is a great time to relax and catch up on reading. Autumn and winter, when it's wet and cold are much better for hunkering down and writing with a blanket over my knees!
As regards planning my work, I jot down a list of pieces of work and tuck it under my keyboard at the top so I can see it and get the pleasure of ticking off each piece of work.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

That's a good idea, Jean - think I need something in front of me all the time!

Wendy's Writing said...

I know exactly what you mean, Rosemary. Holidays, looking after grandchildren, sunshine, gardening... not the best time to work!

Teresa Ashby said...

I can't plot to save my life, Rosemary. I'm not looking forward to autumn - my family all love it, but I'm clinging on to summer (not that I like it when it's very hot though!) x

Joanna said...

I completely sympathise, Rosemary. I find the summer a strange time for writing. Despite the long, bright days, or perhaps because of them, I can't focus in the same way as I do in autumn and winter. I love the cold weather, the rain and the dark afternoons and always have, even as a child.

You've hit the nail on the head with what you say about the expectation that you ought to be outside more. I feel the pressure of that, like a sort of guilt, especially when other people say what a lovely day it is and make great plans. I feel a bit of a kill-joy, wanting to stay close to home and write instead!

I'm sure you will tackle all your writing projects with gusto when September begins. This morning, it already feels quite autumnal here.

I'll be thinking of you while you wait for news of your novel. It's not easy to concentrate on new writing while you're expecting to hear about completed work as well. xxx

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Exactly, Wendy!

I remember that you prefer summer, Teresa - sorry!

I think you must have the same attitude/feelings towards seasons as I do, Joanna! And thanks for your understanding about waiting to hear about a work.

Frances Evesham said...

I'm pleased to find I'm not alone in finding it hard to write so much in summer. I love the sun, but Roll on September!
I hope you get good news about your novel soon, Rosemary.

Joan Fleming said...

I find I write less in the the summer too. For a while I carried a picture in my mind of sitting in the garden under an umbrella creating my magnum opus. It remained a picture in my mind. I also relate to the pressure summer brings - we SHOULD be out enjoying/taking advantage of the sunshine. Although I don't have the number of projects you have on the go, Rosemary, I'm still looking forward to autumn.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks, Frances - glad you enjoy autumn too!

I know what you mean about that lovely idea, Joan - I think we'll all get on much better when we've no incentive to go out!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks, Frances - glad you enjoy autumn too!

I know what you mean about that lovely idea, Joan - I think we'll all get on much better when we've no incentive to go out!

Carolb said...

I agree writing in the summer can be difficult, as we all want to get outside and enjoy the long days and sunshine.

Winter and early Spring are always more productive times for writing.

Hope all your projects are a success, Rosemary. :0

Maria said...

I've written very little over the summer, its been a very unproductive time for me this year. I'm putting it down to wanting to get outside as much as possible.

Now its time for me to get my act together, thanks for the link, I'll check it out, and try and put some of the advice to work as I've got many half finished projects on the go!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Many thanks, Carol!

I think lots of us have found summer less productive this year, Maria - I'm sure we'll get back into the swing of things soon!