It’s all about staying focused.


Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.


How you keep focused during long writing sessions?


I rarely seem to be in control of the amount of time I’ll spend writing. If I can see the film in my head, I’ll just keep going until it stops. It might be an hour, or it might be considerably more (or less). I usually write early in the morning but it all depends on when I get the information in my head.

Initially, I had random dreams, repetitive dreams of another life. It was not mine, not happening to me. The things I saw were more like a glimpse of someone else’s life, in another time and place. The dreams persisted until I gave up trying to ignore them and wrote them down. At which point they were replaced by others. When I looked at what I had written, I discovered that they were all connected.

And that was how I became a writer. Even now, I don’t consider myself any more than a chronicler of events, as shown to me by…, well, who knows? But whoever they are, wherever it all comes from, the source clearly thinks that it’s important.

As I got into the rhythm of writing down what I had seen, the information shifted from being displayed in my dreams to appearing in my mind during waking moments. And, as I got better at seeing and recording the events taking place, I gained some control over when I was able to access it.

It was almost as if I had been tested, found suitable for the task and trained to accurately report what was being shown to me.

I know that sounds weird, I struggle to explain it in any other way.

To be honest, this isn’t just about me staying focused, it’s as much about whoever is narrating keeping me supplied with material. They can be fickle and change stories or even disappear, mid-tale. If the connection is good, once I get started, I can type several thousand words without stopping.

When I’m in the zone, I have no idea what’s happening in reality.

As I don’t touch-type, I can’t see what has actually appeared on the screen until I stop for a break. Which is when I get the first chance to go over what I’ve written, check it makes sense and correct any typos.

It really is as simple, in my world, as sitting in front of a keyboard, looking inward and typing. Focus doesn’t enter into it.

I do drink a lot of black coffee though.



Let me know what you think about this week’s subject.

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Now see what the other blogs in this hop have to say by clicking below.

Check out the other great blogs here.


I’d love to get your comments, please leave them below. While you’re here, why not take a look around? There are some freebies and lots more content, about me, my writing and everything else that I do. You can join my newsletter for a free novella and more news by clicking this link.

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12 Responses

  1. P.J. MacLayne

    I never learned to like coffee. And except for chocolate, I do very little caffeine. I suspect it would make my focus worse, not better.

    • Richard Dee

      Black coffee kept me going through long nights at work, I developed a taste for the stuff.

  2. Lela Markham

    I’m much the same way. When the characters are telling me their stories, I have all the concentration in world and when they’re not — well, I have a quilt to construct or a hiking trail to conquer.

    • Richard Dee

      That’s about it, there’s no way of forcing it if they don’t want to play.

  3. Amy Miller

    I think I need to start writing at the beginning of my day. I’ll have to make a date with my coffee. I’m similar with the characters, too, although I do need to work on finding a way to give them the opportunities to share.

    • Richard Dee

      The way my characters communicate with me has changed so much. It’s as if I’ve gone from a workman to a friend with them.

  4. Roberta Eaton Cheadle

    I really wish, Richard, that writing was as easy for me as it is for you. I sometimes really slave over a section and other times it comes easily.

    • Richard Dee

      I’m just glad my only involvement is writing it down. If I had to work out how it all fitted together, I’m sure that would be beyond me.

  5. Colleen A Parkinson

    I also lose all connection with the real world when I am in The Zone working away on my manuscripts. I think this is true for most writers. I call it, “Tunnel Focus.”

    • Richard Dee

      That’s so true, my characters and setting become as real as what’s outside the window.

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