Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Staying Focused?

So I've been going through some house drama. My bathroom essentially fell apart while I was in Amsterdam and since then I've had it ripped apart, my house filled with potentially hazardous dust, and have not been able to stay there. FOR THE LAST MONTH. It is extremely frustrating. Especially since where I've been staying doesn't have wi-fi and my macbook won't connect to the modem using the wire. Which means I have to go to my house, and attempt to accomplish things online while workers are stomping through my house, making all kinds of noise and I'm choking on dust. It is... not fun.

Top it off with the fact that I had a pretty important deadline looming, and my nights were filled with anxiety dreams of floods and toxic mold. It's been difficult, and I know my writing has suffered from it. I've been trying all kinds of things to help me focus, such as focus brainwave audio, which is basically the sound of waves crashing on the shore while underneath it tones that stimulates gamma or alpha waves play. I have to say that I was surprised that they sort of seemed to work. I don't know if it was just the fact that it was white noise, or if the brainwave thing was actually happening, but I did find myself able to focus more despite what was going on around me.

What kinds of things do you do to stay focused? I am sort of desperate for more tips. I tried the library, but they don't really have any "quiet" spaces there (plus they're doing construction, hello!) and I'm not so good in coffee shops where there's so much going on. Is there anything special that works for you?


  1. I seriously hope someone with the magical answer comments, because I seriously have no clue how to stay focused. Perhaps cutting back on my coffee might help *sips coffee* Nope, no way is that happening.

    Good luck to you! I hope those anxiety dreams go away. Nothing worse than anxiety keeping you awake when you need rest! :(

  2. I've been having dramas, too.
    this morning I actually started to write and was so excited, only to have a relative knock the legs out from under me. The only thing I've found that helps is to put on my i-pod and listen to music. Sometimes, I can forget the rest of the world that way.

  3. Alpha waves FTW! If you ever want to learn more about how those work ask me. I used to be part of a research project that used those to...well, just ask me.

    I think the best way to stay focused is to switch up how you're working on a project. Don't sit at your computer too long, get up and write free hand and do it outside, when that gets tiring go for a walk and plot out the next scene. Our brains crave new stimulation (which is why we're prone to boredom) and why they long to move onto another task. You can slate it by giving the brain a different way to work and a new place to look at while essentially doing/working on the same thing.

    Also, exercise.

  4. Tricia, listening to music and forgetting about everything else is exactly what my post was about two weeks ago, lol! I love how that works.

    Valerie, maybe you should write a short for Tangled Fiction about a toxic mold monster. :) Hope the house gets back in order soon. I've tried writing at the beach, which is great longhand, but it's too bright to see my laptop screen, and I have the world crappiest battery life.

    Alpha waves sounds interesting. I may have to try that. I agree with Kim that exercise helps. I've been walking at least two hours a day almost every day. (And I've lost 32 lbs because of it!) :-)

  5. Lacey--holy cow woman, congrats on the 32 lbs!!!

    Valerie--no magic answer from me, because I'm with you on the coffee shop/library thing. My best writing is done in my bed or on my couch. Try to focus on the positive--your important writing deadline that's looming over you is SO AWESOME! :)

  6. I second what Kristi said--SO AWESOME!

    And Kristi, thank you! I have about 16-20 more to go and I'll be happy. :)


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