Archive for the ‘focus’ Category

Countdown Timer Resource

March 20, 2007

What does it take for you to focus on your writing and move ahead with a book proposal or a query letter or a magazine article or a book project? The answer will be different for each of us.

People are constantly amazed that I’ve written the volume of material over the years–especially when you consider my first book was released in 1992. My response is that writing a book is just like eating an elephant. You do it one bite at a time. You write one page at a time.

Yesterday a friend wrote and asked if I’d like to clone myself. My instant reaction was “of course, then I would accomplish even more things.” With a bit more reflection, I’m not really interested in cloning myself—even if it were possible. Instead, I’d like to increase the amount of things that get done through greater effective work habits. Believe me over the years, I’ve heard almost all of the excuses that people give for not getting it done–kids at home, traveling too much, ADHD, poor equipment, no writing space or something else. Also I know accomplished writers who have overcome each of these challenges and continue to publish valuable prose.

I continue to apply lessons from the recent Mega Book Marketing University in Los Angeles. As I drive around in my car, I’m listening to some of the material from this conference. I’m also returning to my large notebook from the session and recalling ideas from the various speakers. Alex Mandossian gave some terrific tools in one of the final sessions of the conference. I’m going to pass along one of them in this entry about the Writing Life in hopes it will help you as well.

The resource is a free countdown timer. Set it to whatever amount of time works for you. Alex suggested 45 minutes since almost anyone (even someone who is ADHD) should be able to concentrate on a single task for this amount of time. Make a plan and stick with it. You will be surprised at what can be accomplished.

A Matter of Focus

February 9, 2007

Are you stuck some place with your writing life? Maybe you’ve started several novels but not managed to finish them. Or maybe you have a half-baked query letter and haven’t completed it and sent it out to various magazine editors. Possibly you’ve started a book proposal yet not submitted it. Years ago, one of the people in my writing critique groups had a whole desk drawer full of manuscripts. He had not submitted any of them. Or maybe the array of writing choices overwhelm you and you wonder which thing to tackle first.

In some ways it’s a matter of focus and getting out of stall then forming a plan to move ahead. This past week, John Kremer included a short article about Keith Ferrazzi, the author of Never Eat Alone. [If you don’t subscribe to John’s free newsletter, take a second to do so because it’s packed with great information]. The current issue of Reader’s Digest includes an article from Ferrazzi about how to achieve your dreams.

Then Ferrazzi created a simple online quiz so readers could follow through. Check out this tool and it may help you get out of stall and on to the next level in your writing life.