Sunday, January 22, 2012

Where is Your Focus?

"The first rule of focus is this: 'Wherever you are, be there'." ~ Anonymous

Trying to accomplish something with a creative mind takes an absurd amount of focus.
Natural daydreamers we creative people are; often leading us down so many thoughts that end up eating our short days giving us nothing in return than a sour mood for work undone.

I've been plagued with this for the past few weeks (see above photo, clearly, I've been focused...). After putting down From the Ashes to work on the final revisions of Violet Storm (which thankfully is back in the hands of my editor), I gave the whole novel writing a bit of a rest. It felt good. Amazing even. The first weekend, and then the next. Another weekend followed and gone were the good feelings. I was left with with a different emotion. Guilt. Guilt for wasting time and parting with the book long enough to have lost the momentum I'd gained. Fantastic... I was pissed. I am still pissed. So no more excuses. I parked my unfocused butt in a chair for hours revisiting the work, then went to the cafe for another three hours re-familiarizing myself with the story and editing it along the way. It made me feel marginally better.

So today is a new day. As with most weekends I wake up thinking, "What time is it? It better not be nine yet because I have a lot to write." Well...I woke up at nine. Yeah...So I overslept. You may ask, why does something as small as that matter? Well, that's the part about getting your focus in tune. You need to set goals, discipline yourself with a structured timeline, and set true expectations. And setting something as small as this helps me feel like I'm one step closer to where I need to be.

With that said, I hoped I've helped you get a little more focus with whatever it is that you're passionate about.

*     *     *

Here is a short excerpt on From the Ashes, taken from a section that my writer's group gave me rave reviews for:

             “Are you listening, Ashley?” asked Eldred. Her words were clipped as she focused on the road ahead.
            “Ash, just Ash, remember?” she said automatically. “Ashley is dead, just like her family.”
            Eldred studied her, a level of mutual understanding in her grim smile. “Except for your sister, I hear.”
            She stiffened. “What?”
            Eldred’s smile widened. “I’ve read your file. There’s a chance your sister’s out there. Whether she’s a Shade or surviving as a half-breed is the question. You know better than to hope for the latter, don’t you?”
            Teeth clenching, her heart drummed rapidly in her chest, the reminder of the odds against her sister feeling like stone growing heavy in her gut. She tore her eyes away from Eldred’s profile and to the darkened streets beyond her window.
            She worked to keep in check the deepening ache at the mention of her twin. She was being watched and she needed to be careful. Old world warriors like Eldred would not care for human weakness. And the last thing she needed right now was a lecture on learning to let the past go. It was bullcrap anyway. Despite what they told every new trainee, none of the Blackmores could function decade after decade, kill after kill just by letting their past go. The very best were driven to be the most successful hunters because they could never let go—never forget what had been done to them.
            “I hope for nothing,” she answered.

-- Read the first chapter of From the Ashes here:
-- The first chapter of Violet Storm can also be found here:

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