Tag Archives: pay attention

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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Train Yourself to Resist Resistance: Second Trick


In the previous post, I promised that you can train your brain to follow two simple commands that will transform your writing no matter how resistant you are. The first was Sit-Stay. The second is: Pay Attention To the trainer, Pay Attention means “look at me, make eye contact with me” (which is why some […]

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Master Resistance with Two Simple Commands Part 2


In the previous post, I promised that you can train your brain to follow two simple commands that will transform your writing no matter how resistant you are. The first was Sit-Stay. The second is: Pay Attention To a dog, Pay Attention means “look at me, make eye contact with me” (which is why some […]

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You Know What to Do (to Care for Your Writer Self and Eliminate Writer’s Block)


Self-care is recognizing what you need most and giving yourself that. In an appreciative inquiry, I asked the students in my Entering the Flow class to write about the good things they did for themselves as a writer in the past week. Because one of the key principles in appreciative inquiry (AI) is that we […]

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Track Your Way Past Writer’s Block to Writing Success


Writing habits trump resistance. If you want to make it easier to write and write regularly, you need writing habits. (I suggest regularly showing up for short sessions of Process, Product Time and Self-care as the basic habits every writer should give her/himself.) To create or improve your writing habits (or to change any other […]

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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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