by Peggy Bechko
Yes, I can be scattered. But also yes, I can focus like a laser and get things done.
And this is a subject for discussion why you say.
Well, it applies to everyone and nearly every aspect of life.
Read along and I’ll explain.
I’ve been a writer all my life, but I’m also restless. I like variety. I like change. So I’ve published novels with some of the big houses like Doubleday, Harlequn, Pinnacle, Manor and others. I’ve also written screen scripts, optioned a number to production companies and had a script for a series (Diabolik, producer Larry Brody) get produced. I’ve also written articles and creative copy, have evaluated other manuscripts and created a class for online romance novel writing learning (that’s a video course on UDEMY.com called Romancing Your Novel).
Okay, that’s scattered. However, I’ve enjoyed myself immensely and I do take care to focus on whatever project I have at hand. I’ve been known to juggle two, but never more than that. Others have to wait in a que. And, I freely admit a lot of the non-fiction writing was done to create an income to help finance the fiction writing habit. Not that I didn’t enjoy the ‘non-fiction’ as well, I did and I do. That, I believe is the key to keep it all in line.
Or rather, one of three keys; those being have fun, be organized, and limit what you undertake to accomplish. There are probably more keys jangling out there but those are pretty much primary.
Is this the way for every writer to go? To experiment, scatter efforts, learn new things only loosely associated with writing? Not necessarily. And in general, no. Many times writers stick with one genre (did I mention I also skip genres? That I’ve published romance, western and SciFi/Fantasy?) or one type of writing (fiction or non-fiction, novels or screen scripts, articles or creative non-fiction). And that’s good. Everyone has his or her own methods and desires. There are many people who are very uncomfortable with the wider approach. But if you’re a lot like me then it’s a go. Nonetheless keep in mind you always need to focus tightly on the project at hand. It is way too easy to allow yourself to be distracted by all the other projects you intend to do or have already begun in some fashion. Keep them firmly in que while you work on your primary project.
And how do we bring this full circle to think about how it might affect other parts of our lives? Well, if you’re a ‘scattered’ writer, odds are you are in other areas of your life as well. The same simple advice given for the writer applies to all. You may have a lot that needs to get done, but tell those projects and chores to get in line. Focus on what you’re doing now and let the others take their turns. When you spread yourself too thin you do nothing better than messing up.