Monday, April 1, 2013

Keep It Simple, Stupid

I've written before about focus. It's one thing that I think all successful people need - a clear and obvious focus in life. 

Recently, I've been finding in my own life that I have been more and more easily distracted. At one time my whole focus was my literary career and my commitment to my writing. As that didn't tend to pay the bills, I found myself gravitating towards things that did, thus losing my focus. 

Now, I'm looking around my apartment and my life and seeing all of these things that don't contribute positively to the life that I want and that force me to concentrate on other things. For example, the past few months I've been buying a lot of clothing, since I work in retail. As a writer, what do I need to be fashionable for? I'm finding that I have more bills now because I'm buying more clothes, and thus spending even less time focused on my writing because I am forced to focus on paying the bills. 

I know that most aspiring writers come to this place in their career eventually. The writing isn't being read, the book won't sell, you realize that you're not the next J.K. Rowling and this is where a lot of people give up. But I am not going to do that.

I'm simplifying. I'm cleaning out the clutter in my mind (and my apartment) and I'm going back to focusing on what matters. Yes, I still have my same job, so this will be a test of will power and resolve. However, by streamlining a lot of things in my life, I think I can get back on track.

I've been cleaning out my desk and my closets. I've been meditating and doing yoga to clear my mind and get rid of the stress I bring home everyday. I'm making writing a regular part of my daily routine again. And of course, I'm still committed to my 100 Books Project, because writing without reading is pointless.

How do you stay focused when you feel yourself getting off track?

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