Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Keeping Focus on your Writing

If you are anything like me sometimes it can be hard to focus on just one project at a time. Often it seems like while good ideas are ever plentiful actual time can be harder to come across. It can be all too easy to just try to cram a bunch of subjects into one book, painting, poem, story or whatever it is that you are creating. This can lead to a confusing mess for your audience to figure out and will ultimately take away from what you are trying to achieve.

There are a couple of tips to keep in mind that will help you with this potential issue. The first is to remember that the only deadline is yours. Publishers are generally very good about the amount of time that they give authors for each book, so you almost never need to rush. You have to take the time to refine your subject matter and really focus on what you are trying to tell or teach your readers.

The second thing to keep in mind is that you can write more books. If you have fifty topics crammed into one book, why not take a few of those out and just write more books? Sure it can be hard to juggle multiple books at once, but it is preferable by far than the alternative of having a disjointed book that exceeds its scope. Having multiple projects at once is also a great way to avoid writer’s block, as I illustrated in my previous article here.

The third is that the size of the book does not matter nearly so much as what it contains. Certainly there can be a lot of pressure to conform to the “standard” 50,000 word minimum but that really is up to you. Pumping up the word count purely for the sake of it went out with Dickens. Take a look at my earlier book “Ten Simple Rules for Living a Blessed Life,” for example. It is not a large book by any means, but it is also not supposed to be. It couldn’t very well be “Simple” if it came in at 300 pages.

By keeping your focus on the topic of the book as you outline it will help you not only create a book that people will love and recommend to friends and family for years, but will also keep lots of fresh new ideas in your mind for future books.

Lastly, just keep writing!

Grant Virtue

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