How I write so darned fast – Part 3
In case you didn’t noticed from the previous two posts, I’m a bit of a rambler. I get that. It comes with being me and given that I’ve been me for as long as I can remember, I guess that’s bound to happen.
When we left off we were talking about distractions, music, and communication with those around you. Those are all great for creating an environment conducive to writing. All that stuff is important. Just like in part when when I talk about typing speed and knowing ahead of time what you’re planning on writing. Also important.
You also need to get yourself into the mindset of ‘I’m going to write’. Yes, being able to focus is one thing, but actually focusing is another thing entirely.
For example, you have a job, right? (well, let’s pretend you do have a job even if you don’t). Or you’re going to make something for dinner. (well, let’s pretend you cook). Or you’re going to do something that requires you to be all there when you’re doing that task. You don’t just walk in and hope for the best. You don’t sit at you desk or operate heavy machinery without having some idea what you’re doing or at least some level of competency. And if you’re new, you need to give that job you’re about to perform.
Writing should be approached in the same manner. You don’t just sit and hope for the best. You need to focus on what you’re doing. Yes, I write fast, but one of the reasons is I’ve freed myself of distractions so I can type without being interrupted. Even if it’s for only 10 or 15 minutes, I make those minutes as productive as possible. I can usually get 300-500 words down in a fifteen minute stretch. Why? Because I’m focused on the task at hand.
Think about your job for a minute. When you’re typing an email, or driving a forklift, or operating a machine, does a distraction take you out of that task and make you lose focus? Even if you distract yourself by letting your mind wander away from the task at hand. Are you your most productive when you’re not fully engrossed with the task you’re performing? I know I’m not.
I write code for a living. When I’m typing code and I get an instant massage, I lose focus on what I was doing and it might take me five or ten minutes to get back into the task and try to remember where I was. I’ve lost focus. Or I’ll stop what I’m doing and look my email, or look something up on the web. Again, I’ve lost focus on the task at hand.
But when I’m on my game and I’ve got that laser-like focus, I can type at great speed and things happen in my story.
Yes, yes, I said I’m a discovery writer at times and the story will take a turn I wasn’t expecting, but that does not mean I wasn’t focused on the task of writing. It means I’ve been able to get so into my task, that I’ve allowed my brain to get out of the way of the creative process. One side of my brain is engaged in getting the words on the page (the logical side), the other is focused on making the story happen (the creative side) and when you’re highly focused on writing and you’ve entered ‘flow’, this is when both sides of your brain bring everything together.
Writing, for me, isn’t about treating it like a hobby. If you’re writing for a hobby, any words you write are great! Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking those hobbyists out there. Writing is a wonderful hobby. What I am saying is that if you want to move from writing as a hobby into something you can produce large amount of content (I’m talking 4 or 5 or 7 books a year) then you can’t look at writing as a hobby any more. You need to approach it like it’s a job, but a job you love to do and are excited about doing. That means you need to focus on what you’re doing.
I would keep going on and on here, but I think I’ll save my next topic for next time. What will that be? Goal Setting.
Until Next Time!