Thursday, February 18, 2016

What Kind of Author Do You Want to Be?

I find that one of the problems I am faced with in writing is that my attention wanders. I am interested in so many things that it is really hard sometimes to narrow my focus and actually get one thing done well. I'll be working on a project and think "oh- you know what would make this better? If it was a steampunk!" Then a few days later inspiration hits again, and now I have to include elements of a secret society and a diabolical plot to rival that of The Da Vinci Code. And later still I found a way for my steampunk society to coexist with dinosaurs....

Ok, so I am not going to completely apologize for the conglomeration of things that I think are cool, because, well, I think they are pretty cool. However, it illustrates a point. Sooner or later you have to decide which ideas belong to this project, and which ideas need to go to the file where you keep ideas on the burner for another work. 

Similarly, you come to a point where you have to decide what you are going to write. Not because you can't write from every genre, but because by narrowing your focus you get more done, and the stuff that you get done is usually going to be better in quality. 

So what kind of author do you want to be? Visualize it. What does it look like? What does a day of work look like? Be specific. The more specific you are, the more details you include, the more likely you will be to build that vision. That is the secret to success. 

Once you have that vision, develop a laser focus. Commit to living as though the vision were already a reality. Wherever possible, keep to the routines and do the work that you envisioned yourself doing. If you maintain that focus long enough, you will change, and you will become the person that you want to become. 

And hey, you just might write a few steampunk political thrillers with dinosaurs in them along the way.