Focus Jayne, Focus. Focus is my word of the year, the word that’s supposed to be a guiding force in my thinking and behaving. When I remember it, the term works like a charm.
Today I’m thinking of how focus pertains to my writing. Even though it might not be obvious to most people, I do manage to write a few lines every day. Yesterday I jotted down a few things down about a recent trip to New Bern, NC , and that was it. Things like, “Taking the wrong turn somewhere and ending up going down this scenic road in the middle of nowhere (to us).” Maybe someday I’ll be able to use it in a blog or article.
But in the meantime, I’ve got some irons in the fire. I’ve also got clichés on the brain (works like a charm if you have irons in the fire).
Current irons in the fire:
Some pieces for a book that our local writing group is putting together. The book is to be an amalgam of stories, poems, remembrances, essays, and photos of Camden in days gone by. Originally, we planned a gift book filled with memories of Christmases past, but our focus has shifted. Nostalgia is now our goal. So far, I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s contributions, and I know it’s going to be an interesting collection.
A beach book. Yes, I know this has been done, but then, hasn’t just about everything? One day I picked up a small book of photographs of the sky that were snapped with a cell phone. All of the pictures were taken within a year. I was astounded that a publisher would actually publish such a project, but there it was…page after page of blue skies and clouds and occasional kites or birds.
“I could do this with some of my beach pictures,” I thought. And I started on the project that very weekend. Using an iPhone, I took some breathtakingly gorgeous pictures of coastlines along the east coast of the United States. Although most were taken in South Carolina, there are several scenes from North Carolina and Maine. The completed beach book will have quotes, stories, and essays from various sources; two of my friends have already contributed essays.
Then there’s a teaching book that I’m toying with. Part memoir and part “how-to,” it should be helpful to at least a few people out there. I’m not presumptuous enough to think that I know everything there is to know about teaching because I don’t. I only know what worked well for me and for many of the other teachers I’ve had the honor of working with for nearly 40 years. 40 years. Unbelievable.
In addition to the above major projects, I want/need to submit some work that I’ve written. Why keep writing and not sending it out into the world? Fear of rejection? Fear of ridicule? Is fear also the reason that I don’t do much marketing? Or is that laziness?
Does anyone else have problems with staying focused? What are some of your writing challenges? And what about your current projects? I’m interested in hearing about those too.