Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Indie Life - Staying Focused

Indie life is a monthly blog hop sponsored by the Indelibles to help indie authors find and offer support about living the indie life.

Sometimes, it's really hard to stay focused.

It's not that I don't love the writing - I do. Love it hard. But the hyperconnectivity of the internet means that there's always something extremely cool going on in the writer-world. Hugh Howey is launching his groundbreaking paperback/hardback release of Wool in bookstores across the US (go to your local B&N and tell them you want it!). Author-friend Lisa Gail Green has a cover reveal for her first indie book. I'm getting ready to launch a new future-noir serial, and people (other than me and my mom) are excited about it. And then there's the taxes, and the cat eating my internet cable, and... it's mostly all good, but sometimes it's hard to find time and mental space to get the words on the page.

Then... I have a breakthrough. Some time spent brainstorming produces a new plot twist that I simply adore and can't wait to write. Then my fingers fly across the keyboard and the words come gushing out. And I think, Self, why can't you do this all the time? And I reply (yes, I'm talking to myself in my head), Because you'd miss out on stuff like this:

That's my trailer that indie rockstar Hugh Howey is plugging! Mind=blown.

So I relax, cut myself some slack, and think, Self, relax. Write the story as it comes. Take time to visit your friends. Don't spend your whole day on FB. Unless Hugh Howey plugs your trailer, then it's okay. 

It helps. And when the story is flowing, I enjoy it for what it is: the best job in the world.

What do you do to stay focused?

Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling Mindjack Series, which includes three novels, three novellas, and a trailer. She's currently writing a steampunk fantasy romance, just for kicks, but she keeps getting distracted by a Debt Collector named Lirium, who insists that she write a future-noir serial about him. She's finally given in and will be launching the first episode next week. Unless she spends all her time playing on Facebook. Which could happen if she doesn't stay focused.

Indie Life

Because being Indie doesn't have to mean going it alone.


32 comments:

  1. I think part of the reason it's sometimes hard for me to focus is that I'm a panster. When I'm not sure exactly what to write next, it's easy to lose focus and goof off while I try to think. One way for me to keep focused is to brainstorm ideas in my manuscript.

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    1. You may be onto something there - I both pants and plot, but when I'm pantsing there tends to be more room for distraction. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. That. Is. Awesome!!!! Both the trailer and the sentiment. I feel the same way a lot of the time. Let all the other garbage go, and just focus on putting out the best book I can. Repeat. :o) <3

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    1. Exactly! It’s really the only hope for staying sane in all of this. :)

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  3. I schedule my writing time to stay focused. But this morning I slept in. So, I'll schedule it later.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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    1. I wish I could get up early to write! My body refuses to obey that command. :)

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  4. Focused? Ah something I desperately need to do!!

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  5. Focus comes when it dang well pleases, for me. Doesn't matter if I'm plotting or pantsing, and I'll do either.

    Right now, I'm in a writing lull, which is good because I need to get my taxes done.

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    1. The tax beast! Just the thing to make you long for... doing anything else. :) Good luck!

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  6. Focusing can be hard, especially with social media. Great post.

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  7. No matter how hard it is to focus when you get writing done, it's worthwhile.

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  8. I have a hard time focusing too. I think we all have issues with that, some more than others! So right after I finish this comment, I'm going to head on over to the coffee shop (to get away from the pups that want attention 24/7)!

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    1. Stealing away is SO productive sometimes! Enjoy!

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  9. Why do cats want to do that stuff? I had to stop mine from eating computer cords last night. Is it thrill seeking? Is he trying to see what kind of jolt he can take? I just don't get it.
    (and just by the way, that link you posted doesn't actually work? I'm getting "content not available")

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    1. I have no clue why my cat is so crazy. She licks batteries. Enuf said. And the link... it's to a FB post. Do you need to friend me on FB to see it? It seems to work for me...

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  10. That's a good point about focus, and I find that it can be hard to find the focus with everything else out there. I sometimes find that the story just flows, but then I also need time for those breaks. For me, I write in sprints. I'll focus on what I need to do and try to get it done. Then, I'll have time to unfocus and rest. :)

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    1. I definitely have more productive spurts than others. Whatever works, I say! :)

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  11. Hi, Susan,
    I keep going off schedule which means I have to play catch up, which means I have to stay focused - when I'm not making visits. :)

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    1. And there's always the internet, waiting to distract us, yes? :)

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  12. It can be easy to feel guilty about spending a lot of time not writing, but then you never know what opportunities you'll find. Social media is just life, you need to experience it or you'll have nothing to write about!

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    1. Nick - you're my hero for that. Thank you. :)

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  13. I'm kind of facing burn out right now at the day job (and only expect it to get worse)...so staying focused to write is a HUGE GINORMOUS CHALLENGE. :(((

    I'm going to have to cut myself some slack and do what you do--write as it comes (except during deadline time, LOL!) and focus on QUALITY words. I'm ok with that.

    Nice post!

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    1. It's funny how much pressure we put on ourselves, when it's all under our control. I'm the worst offender at this!

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  14. Sometimes I wish I could just disconnect the internet so I wouldn't be distracted, but then I always find there's something I have to look up while I'm writing. I'm also a pantser, so I often research as I go. Then I also often have to check Facebook as I go, too lol.

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    1. Facebook is my addiction. I'll totally cop to that.

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  15. I have very limited time to write, so I find it easy to stay focussed, because I am squeezing it in during my son's nap times.

    That is SO cool that your trailer is endorsed by Hugh Howey!!!!

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    1. IKR? I was pretty giddy about it! And yes, there's nothing like limited time to motivate you! :)

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  16. Staying focused is really a challenge:) I think that's why deadlines…other indie life post today…help me. Nothing else really does. I'm kind of fanatical about meeting deadlines, so I've learned that if I don't keep a somewhat steady rhythm it's going to get crazy, that's what forces me to focus, Oh dear, I don't think I'm making any sense and this is becoming very unfocussed, lol. Congratulations on Hugh Howey and your trailer. Very Awesome.

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    1. Thanks! Deadlines work for me too - that's why I set them for myself, even when there's no outside pressure to do so. Mostly, it works. :)

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