Tag Archives: focus

When Mental Clutter Limits Your Writing, Clearing Your Mind Takes New Meaning


If you feel scattered and find it difficult to focus your attention on your writing, you’re not alone, not weird, not wrong. You’re probably suffering from mental clutter. Your brain is filled with too many things to think about, remember, ponder, take action on. You’re struggling to make sense of a cacophony of demands on […]

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Is Your Writing Practice Sustainable?


Are you starving the Golden Goose? As I wrote in Around the Writer’s Block, “Your creative genius is the goose that lays the golden eggs. If you, like the shortsighted farmer in the fable, don’t care for the goose, you’ll never see another golden egg…” To make your writing practice sustainable, you must care for […]

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Keeping Your Writer’s Brain at Creative Optimum


Writers must be creative; it’s create or die (at least inside). In your pursuit of creativity, your brain is your most important asset. How well do you maintain it? Take this Self-care Assessment to find out. Downtime: The brain requires rest to retain what it learns. Dr. Loren Frank, assistant professor of physiology at the […]

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Focus Saves Creativity… and Goldfish!


Save a goldfish – stop trying to multitask! You’ll preserve your creativity, too. Multitasking is the antithesis of focus. I’ve listed my previous posts on multitasking below in case you haven’t read them all or want a refresher. If you are tempted to try to multitask just this once or get so busy you accidentally […]

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Step Away From the Marshmallow Part 2


In more recent versions of the Marshmallow Test, Walter Mischel tells children to pretend the marshmallow is only a picture of a marshmallow or a fluffy cloud. The children who employ their imagination could wait three times longer than kids who didn’t use their imagination. “Once you realize that will power is just a matter […]

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Step Away From the Marshmallow and No One Gets Writer’s Block


Have you seen the Marshmallow Test? Four-year-olds are given a marshmallow and told that they can eat the marshmallow whenever they want, but if they wait until the researcher comes back, they can have a second marshmallow. The videos are sometimes funny, sometimes poignant as the kids devise different strategies to avoid the temptation or […]

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Step Away From the Catnip and No One Gets Writer’s Block


My intuition tells me there is something more significant about multitasking than just “don’t do it.” It’s about focus; it’s about the ability and freedom to choose what to pay attention to. Without that ability to focus, our struggles with writing resistance will be futile. My next couple of posts will explore this connection between […]

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Mental Clutter


The inability to sustain focused attention for more than five minutes is often the result of mental clutter.

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Why You Need to Pay Attention to What You’re Paying Attention To


We can’t get into the waking dream of writing if we are constantly interrupting ourselves with trivia. Writers are particularly vulnerable to and negatively affected by our culture of distraction.

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How Splintered Is Your Attention? Take the Quiz and Find Out


  Is Your Attention Splintered? One of the best things I do for myself as a writer and a human being is to spend 45 to 60 minutes at least once a week in the dog park (in addition to walking the dogs out my front door every morning). We’re lucky to have a dog […]

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