Monday, October 26, 2009

FOCUS

As I have mentioned before, I have a Writing Buddy. Laura Bridgwater and I meet every Thursday at a fabulous cafe to discuss writing, set goals and critique each others work. During a recent meeting I had my annual breakdown because I was trying to do too much and I couldn't think straight. I wanted to give it all up and walk away. As she does every year, Laura talked me down from the ledge.

She shared with me a strategy she had been trying. She called it FOCUS.

Follow
One
Course
Until
Successful

We looked at all the things I had going on: Northern Colorado Writers, blog, my writing, speaking at other conferences, organizing the NCW conference, book reviews... (she shook her head and rolled her eyes at me while I rambled off my list. It was clear now why I was losing my mind).

She asked what my goal was and I told her I wanted to make a living as the NCW director. So she said, I had to let some things go and FOCUS on this.

So we decided I had to let go anything that did not directly relate to helping NCW thrive. Speaking at conferences could stay because it was a marketing tool for NCW. We decided I had to let go of writing book reviews, make my blog a part of NCW and get some members to help write posts, temporarily let go of actively seeking article ideas & markets for my own writing and even let go of the self-imposed pressure of trying to write every single day.

It felt as if a huge burden was lifted off my shoulders. All I had to do now was FOCUS on NCW. I could wrap my brain around that.

Since making this decision, life has been easier and I find that I am getting more done. I am still making some transitions (finding people to help with this blog, updating the look of it and finishing up a book review I already started). But, my head is no longer spinning.

I was a little worried about letting go of the magazine writing, but I realized I still do a lot of writing through the NCW newsletter, website content and this blog. I will get back to magazines in due time.

What do you want to FOCUS on? Are there things you need to let go in order for that to happen?

8 comments:

Kay Theodoratus said...

Focusing is always a good idea. Good luck.

[Sorry, I don't know enough to be a guest blogger.]

Lost Wanderer said...

Trying to do to much at a time is definitely one of my biggest problems. I want to do and accomplish so many things that I don't focus on one thing, which could have been finished. It is a problem I am still working on.

Windy Lynn Harris said...

Clearing your plate is never easy. It means saying "no" to others. I'm doing my best to protect the time I have for writing and spend it on a novel project. I'm already hearing from those who I've held off, "So, when will you be done?" HA!

Janie B said...

I have this same problem at my job. My time is divided into several jobs, so I don't feel that I can give my best to any of them. It's frustrating and spills out into my personal life. Good luck with your focus.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm eliminating multi-tasking from my life and substituting focused serial-tasking. The things that keep falling to the bottom of the list (such as reading certain list and group digests that don't further my writing/promoting goals) will eventually be dropped altogether. I'm already less stressed and more productive.

Name: Luana Krause said...

I totally understand. This year has been very stressful for me, as a writer (and my personal life as well). "Spread too thin" doesn't even begin to cover it. I learned to let go of the things that aren's moving my primary goals forward. It's been a great relief. I'm so happy to see I'm not the only one. Wishing you all the best. Happy writing.

Kerrie said...

Luana,

I'm glad I am not the only one too. Sometimes I do think I am the only one that has these crazy issues. It is nice to hear from other writers that I am NOT crazy. :-)

WordWrangler said...

I have a friend who helps me maintain focus, too! She tells me "Donna...priorities are key!"

If I keep my priorities straight, then everything else falls into place.

peace,
Donna

p.s. your blog looks great! :)

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