I watched this little Rufous Hummingbird flit around all Sunday afternoon. The birdfeeder was full of fresh nectar, but each time he arrived, he made the rounds of the available flowers on the deck before darting over to the feeder for a drink. Then it was back to the red Calibrachoa – no, wait… make it the white Bacopa – nope, it’s the golden Bidens. Another dash to the feeder for a sip of nectar.
He couldn’t seem to stay at any one place for longer than a couple seconds, and so ended up returning to each one multiple times. He probably got adequate nourishment, but he sure expended a lot of energy in the process.
He reminded me of my own futile efforts to concentrate on my WIP some days.
- Open WIP document.
- Oops, almost forgot to check Facebook, e-mail and Twitter.
- Locate my misplaced mug of coffee – can’t function without caffeine.
- Re-read yesterday’s chapter and mark a few weak spots.
- Check for new blog comments – it’ll only take a moment unless there are new ones requiring a reply.
- Contemplate whether to make the changes in that earlier chapter or move on to the next.
- Stare out the window at the birds.
- Check to see if anyone has replied to my Facebook post.
- Return to the kitchen to dump my cold coffee and get a hot refill.
- Recheck e-mail.
And on it goes.
Distractions aren’t the problem. Lack of focus is. The infamous “butt in chair” advice works only if I actually concentrate on my manuscript while seated. Bird watching or browsing the internet while sipping coffee doesn’t count because my brain is not fully engaged in the task.
How much more productive would I be if I allotted a specific chunk of time to the social media tasks, then turned it off, swivelled my chair away from the window and settled down for a session of real writing? I know that perfectly well, but I watched the silly hummingbird who couldn’t settle in one spot either, and smiled at his lack of focus.
Until I realized that he was multi-tasking with one purpose in mind: to fill his stomach.
I guess he could teach me a thing or two about focus after all.
So did you have trouble focusing on your #wipmadness efforts, or did you accomplish last week’s goals? What do you hope… no, plan to achieve this week?
The winner of our Week #3 draw for
a $25 Amazon gift certificate is
M.A. Scott (@ghostgirlwrites)
Congratulations, Mary Ann! Please e-mail me at caroljgarvin [at] gmail [dot] com and I’ll tell you how to claim your prize.
For Week #4, K.M. Weiland has generously donated a copy (print or digital) of her 2011 release, OUTLINING YOUR NOVEL to someone who comments on today’s check-in post. You can check-in multiple times during the week (until Saturday) if you’re in need of a little extra motivation or to offer extra support to your fellow Wipsters.
Now, stop procrastinating and get to work!
(“A lifelong fan of history and the power of the written word, K.M. Weiland enjoys sharing both through her novels and short stories. She blogs at Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors, where she mentors other authors and shares the ups and downs of the writing life.”)
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