We’re so eager to jump to conclusions when we can’t focus on the task at hand, especially if it’s writing. Somehow we must be doing something wrong.
We’re conditioned by our action-driven society to jump to some kind of an action.
We’ve got to do something about it. We’ve got to figure it out! Now! Right this very moment!!!
Maybe the story isn’t plotted right. Maybe the characters are taking over the story. Maybe the conflict isn’t strong enough. Maybe the chapters have to be longer. Maybe the chapters have to be shorter. Maybe I should go back to the beginning and rewrite it. Maybe I should jump to the end and write it out first.
And on and on and on.
Quite often the problem is none of those things.
Before you jump into the frenzy of figuring out why your attention is slipping, check in with your body.
Are you tired?
Then forget about writing and take a nap. Sleep. Sleep will restore you.
Not tired? Then are you fidgety? Can’t sit still?
Exercise. Take a walk, or go for a run, or for a bike ride. Do yoga. Swim. Whatever gets your heart pumping and gets you sweaty. Exercise will kick up your endorphins and refocus you.
Not fidgety? Then are you hungry? Feeling light-headed? Weak?
Eat. But not sugar (by sugar I mean carbs—soda, juice, grains, bread, ride, potatoes, pastries, candy, starchy fruit like bananas, etc). Eat healthy stuff that’ll keep your energy level instead of kicking it up then making you crash (which is what carbs do). So greens, berries (low in carbs), nuts, meat, fish, cheese (if you can tolerate lactose). Invest money in a blood test that tells you what your body’s optimal fuel is, then stick with it.
I bet one of the above things is the cause for you feeling unfocused.
We pile up too much on ourselves. We work too hard. We neglect sleep. We don’t exercise, or exercise not as often as we want. We stuff our bodies with junk and eat too much, often mindlessly. And so all of this takes its toll.
Once you take care of your body, your body will take care of your mind, and your mind will be sharp every day. And your writing (and your readers) will thank you for it.