In this week’s Sunday morning coffee with Stacy chat we talked about writing focus & distractions — continuing our theme from last week about beating distraction brain and up-leveling your author business.
If you’d rather watch the writing focus & distractions chat video, click the image below, if not, keep on reading!
Our YouTube playlist this morning is from the fantastic Tim Janis this is his peaceful relaxing music from Scottish Highlands so remember to jump over to YouTube up at the link in the comments below to add this one to your writing playlist if you have one and to give Mr. Tim Janis a like and subscribe.
So, continuing our theme about writing focus & distractions, today I want to talk about something that I have personally always struggled with and I know a lot of other writers do as well, and the truth of the matter is, it’s actually a good problem to have – and that is the double-edged sword of having tons of ideas for different books, series, short stories etc.
It’s a good problem to have, because it means will rarely, if ever, run out of things to write.
It can be a very, very bad problem in that it also means that we tend to fall prey to what I call “shiny squirrel syndrome”. And I’m sure you get the gist of what that means so it’s kinda like shiny object syndrome, combined with the dog from up who’s always distracted by the squirrel.
So today I want to share with you exactly how I handle this issue myself and hopefully it can help some of you as well.
Now as most of you probably already know, I am a Scrivener user that is primarily what I write in. Although I do sometimes use other programs just to switch things up for the most part I am a die-hard Scrivener fan.
Good news is, this method will work regardless of what software you use, or even if you use no software at all and are a longhand, pen to paper, writer.
The reason for doing this is is important and I want to touch on that first before I share the method. If you are, for example, writing a series… unless you are one of these very prolific writers that can write to sometimes three books a month, then it doesn’t make a lot of sense to “jump ship” in the middle of your series to go start writing another series that has caught your eye — “shiny squirrel syndrome”.
Because strategically, your readers, if you’ve done your job and hooked them early on, are eagerly awaiting the next book in your series. And from a business standpoint if you don’t give your customers what they want, what they’re expecting, they may not be your customers for long.
So now that we have that out of the way, here’s the method – and it is so extraordinarily simple that I feel almost silly making all video about it, but I do hope that it helps someone.
Every time you are in the middle of a writing project and that new shiny idea pops up that you are just dying to go start writing right now, you’re going to pause, and do this instead.
Whenever I get the new book idea bug, I pause what I’m writing, and create a brand-new scrivener project, and take one single page inside that scrivener project and just dump all of my ideas into that page.
No formatting, no editing, no getting lost and just continuing to write – just a simple, as fast as I can do it, brain dump of the idea into that document so that I can come back to it when I’m ready to start actually writing that one later.
Often, in the beginning when I first started using this method, I would set a timer on my phone for 15 minutes — because I would catch myself actually starting to write the story rather than just doing a brain dump of the story idea.
I’m better now and I don’t need the timer, but I still have to watch myself else 10,000 words later I’ve lost a whole day on the project I should be working on.
This accomplishes a few things for me:
1. It allows me to capture the idea the moment that it hits me so that I don’t lose any of the juicy details that made the idea feel so awesome.
2. I already have a scrivener project created sitting there waiting for me to come back to it and start writing later.
3. It frees up my mental energy — because I’ve written it down I no longer feel the need to try to remember it, I’ve already captured the essence of it, and freed up that mental energy to put back towards my work in progress.
And like I said, the beauty part of this method is it works regardless of what writing software or writing method you use. It even works on the go, either by simply recording a voice memo on your phone, opening up the notepad on your phone and typing in the notes, or keeping a small steno pad or spiral notebook in your pocket or purse.
The main idea is to get the idea captured so that you can return your focus back to the project are currently working on.
And that’s all I have for you today just one more little tool you can add to your writer’s toolbox to help with writing focus & distractions… i.e., defeat “distraction brain”, and to help take one more step in up leveling your author business because as we know more books equals more sales equals business growth.
Until next time happy writing!
If you find our info helpful, consider joining us over in the Author’s Mojo Academy. We are always looking for new writers to join our tribe of incredible people. In addition to the amazing people, we have tons of courses, a weekly “office hours” live call where we dive into your questions, and a weekly accountability live call to help keep us all on track.