... That's what I need: FOCUS

Ever seen the movie UP? I'm the talking dog who is very clever but easily distracted... at least by squirrels. It doesn't help that I have multiple jobs:
publications manager
awards administrator
freelance writer/editor/designer
web consultant
crossing guard 
and last but by no means least

I'm constantly having to change focus and that doesn't include research.

I'm not complaining, no matter what it sounds like. I know from experience that I'm not a one career gal. I need to be able to move from one job to another to keep myself from getting stale, frustrated and ultimately BORED TO DISTRACTION. However, I do recognize the need to focus on the job at hand. It's just so difficult some days.

Deadlines help.

Keeping track of when things have to be done and allocating time for different tasks is the only thing that makes being a freelancer and contract employee possible. As for writing, there's the best lain nothing like a looming deadline to motivate one.

Unfortunately, best laid plans of schedules and deadlines are upset by family crises. That's when you have to prioritize. Tasks that keep a roof over your head and feed your children tend to come first.

Stress does not help.

There have been many times in my life when writing fiction has kept me from going off my rocker in the real world. It has been a stress reliever. What I write, I have control over. The rest of life? Not so much.

However, when the stress comes from the pressure to produce my next book. Writing doesn't help. At least, the writing what I'm supposed to doesn't help. That's when I turn to graphic illustration. Art therapy. Oh, and I catch up on my blog writing. 

Activities that reduce stress make it easier to deal with what stresses you. I also find that any creative activity fuels my writing. It's like warming up for singing by doing stretches. The activities may not look related, but they compliment each other.

Traveling Music
When I'm driving, I find music a good way to stay focused on the road without falling asleep. Audio books are even better, but not when you have to pay attention to where you are going. When it comes time to find my exit off the highway, the audio book goes off or who knows where I will end up.
 There are some tasks that work well with audio books too. Writing isn't one of them, of course. I don't even like listening to vocal music when I write. The wrong style of music can be distracting too. That's why I have a play list for every book I've written or am working on. (The Deadly Season playlist, for instance, has a combination of jazz and Christmas music. A Bodyguard to Remember, on the other hand, includes military band selections as well as folk, rock and light jazz.)

But, in the end, I just have to do it. In fact, I should get back to it right now.