How does a writer stay focused?
This is a question I'm often asked and one that is difficult to answer. To me focus is not so much about how many words get on the page on any given day it's about how those words read on the page.
Let me clarify. It is very easy to fill a page with words. Far too easy to repeat the same message in half a dozen different ways. It is an annoying habit and a trap I can fall into with terrifying ease.
It takes great discipline and focus to weed out every unneccesary word so the writing is tight, clear and not verbose.
To be successful one must examine each phrase, each sentence, each paragraph and ensure nothing is repeated and that each sentence adds to the story in such a way that it keeps the reader excited and eager to turn the page.
This is where discpline and focus play such an important part in a writer's journey.
In the first frenzy of creativity words pour out and fill the page with a great adrenaline rush. This for me is the easy part. It's the editing, tightening every phrase, ruthlessly cutting every unessecary word creating a tight, polished peice of work that is the true test of a writer's focus and stamina.
It hurts to cut that perfect phrase, that perfect piece of prose but, to succeed, a writer needs to crop words for the greater benefit of the whole.
A tough and at times a tediously ardous endeavour.