The Trouble with Focus

Phew…It’s been a rough two weeks writing-wise. My focus skipped town and I’m desperately trying to gather my wits to work on this novel. 

Productivity low. Anxiety high. Which of course leads to self-deprecation (i.e. let’s see how often I can tell myself just how badly I suck).

I hate weeks like this. I keep telling myself to take a breath and step back from the self blame because there will always be difficult weeks where a lack of focus cuts into my productivity.

Unfortunately the pep-talk isn’t helping much… 

Fear is also playing a role here: Fear that I can’t produce. Fear that I won’t find my rhythm and writing process with this novel. Fear that I’m producing nothing but crap. Fear that I won’t finish…. And on it goes… Repeat. Rewind. Refocus. 

Every time I think I’ve made a breakthrough, something changes. 

Take for instance my writing time. For several weeks, I woke insanely early (between 5 and 6 AM) and wrote for several hours in the morning. That worked wonderfully for about a month. Now I’m having trouble waking so early and even when I do, the writing isn’t flowing the same as before, even with me forcing myself to get words onto the page. 

Last week I finally decided to make a change and went to a cafe to write. Low and behold, I wrote darn near 3,000 words in 3 hours (my most productive day yet) AND completed 2 paintings. The burst of creative energy was amazing and a much-needed release from the terrible anxiety and self-blame I lambasted myself with all week due to my lack of productivity. 

Does this mean that I need to escape the confines of my home when I have days where I want to focus on anything BUT the writing? Perhaps. I need to try it again to see if I obtain similar results. 

I also need to keep reminding myself that not only is it okay to have weeks like this, but it’s normal. 

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