How to Stay Focused & Motivated to Get Your Book Done – Part 1: Your Writing Environment and Your Brain

focused-photoIf you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know my business coach, Nicole Dean (also a fellow writer for TFOI) challenged me in September 2013 to write and publish a brand new Kindle book every single week for the rest of 2013. So when I first began to write the Author’s Quick Guide series, I was laser focused and 110% motivated. My passion for these e-books fueled my energy and drive to crank out over 40,000 words in less than two weeks, and stay on-task with releasing one of these Kindle books every week from September through December in 2013.

Needless to say, right around book four in the series, Author’s Quick Guide to Having a Successful Book Signing, I lost my writing mojo in a big way. In the midst of writing my weekly newsletter and blog article, staying on top of Facebook notifications, running my full-time business, juggling about ten in-progress client book projects, managing my new team members, taking over a colleague’s entire publishing business, switching over my affiliate system, multiple coaching calls and JV meetings with my business partners every day, and smack in the middle of all of that, four full days at the beach with my husband, I got to the point I didn’t want to open my laptop, write a single word, or even hold a pen to paper.

Despite all those circumstances hitting within one week, that e-book was written and released on time. So how did I get my mojo back? How did I stay focused and motivated to write that e-book, and all the ones that followed? In this article, I’m going to cover some fun tidbits about your brain and how they affect your ability to write and be creative.

Right-Brained Environment

Over the years, I’ve transformed my writing environment and office to be full of bright colors and make it a fun place where I want to spend time. I have a sparkly teal valance over my window (the kind you might see in a college dorm room), an educational primary color rug on my floor like you’d see in a pre-school or day care center, A couch with bright colored pillows, a giant four-by-eight-foot white board complete with Crayola® dry erase crayons, a bright blue beanbag chair, two giant Mr. Potato Heads filled with parts, and toys and trinkets from my various travels. Everyone who visits my office wants to come back just for the sheer inspiration they get while being there.

What kinds of colors and knick-knacks (and toys) get you excited? What do you like? If you make your writing space a fun place where you want to hang out, it will be that much easier for you to be motivated to write while you’re there!

Left-Brained Activities

Have you ever noticed how your best ideas seem to hit while you’re driving or in the shower? There’s a science to this phenomenon. While your brain’s logic processes are occupied with mundane, routine tasks, it frees up your creative processes to jump in and start generating ideas. Here are some left-brained activities you can do to release your right-brain creativity:

  • Shower—A long shower will help you relax and your creative processes to ignite when you stand under a hot stream of water and let it soak through your muscles.
  • Drive—As you relax while driving, your logical brain functions are occupied with mundane tasks like steering, safety, and watching traffic. This is routine for most of us, so the right brain tends to wander. As you become more relaxed, ideas will hit.
  • Wash Dishes—While you do the dishes, start brainstorming around your creative block. You can do this with yourself, though it works better if you have someone else there to talk to, and someone who can take notes for you since your hands will be all wet. If you’re alone, use a voice recorder or keep a pad and pen handy to jot down those fantastic ideas.
  • Vacuum—This activity is easy to implement and take notes while doing. Vacuum your house from top to bottom. Vacuum all your pillows and furniture as well. When those creative ideas flow, write them down in the notebook in your pocket. At the end of your chore, you’ll have several ideas to get past your current writing block or make your writing even better, and you’ll have a clean house. It’s a win-win!

Play with these activities for the next 30 days and see how they affect your creative blocks. Stay tuned next month for more ways on how to stimulate your mental health and clarity and eliminate the distractions keeping you from finishing your book!

Note: This article is an adaptation of material in my e-book, Author’s Quick Guide to Staying Focused & Motivated.

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  • Susie
    April 10, 2014

    I finally started setting up a pleasant office as you describe in this article. I like peaceful and ocean themes right now. We are in a small rental, while waiting to purchase a new home. Most of my boxes are still packed. I have a bare room to work in, which is no fun, so I end up moving to the kitchen table or living room. A few weeks ago I started setting up the room so that I wanted to be in there. This week I’ll be putting up paintings and mobiles to match.

    I also notice that if I’m in a rut or stuck, your thought about taking a long shower works sometimes. It forces me to get myself ready for the day.

    I appreciate your valuable tips!
    Susie recently posted…Journey of The Busy Woman – The Missing BootsMy Profile

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