Tag Archives: focus

The Focus

The focus is difficult for me. I imagine that from the inside, my brain looks a big empty room with thousands of colored rubber balls bouncing off the walls, floor, and ceiling. Each ball is a thought and trying to follow just one of them until it stops is nearly impossible. Sometimes it’s down right overwhelming.

The million random thoughts fighting for attention is not a new thing. I have lived with them for as long as I can remember and since I’ve never known anything else, it’s normal. And it’s mostly good. I love the variety and excitement of new ideas. Of course, these have been known to come out as disjointed sentences and context-less interjections during conversation, but I can usually pass it off as eccentricity or something like that. Everyone knows I’m kinda crazy anyway.

The not good part is when some of those thoughts turn wonky and I don’t get rid of them before they begin to cause fear and worry and anxiety. They’re harder to destroy once they get to that stage, trust me. It’s really quite annoying how there never seems to be a problem with focus where they are concerned. And I have long been aware that the trouble-making thoughts always surface when you are trying to fall asleep, interfering with your rest and general well being.

I have a lot of practice with this scripture:

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ1 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NKJV)

I am so grateful for the ability to think so many amazing thoughts, to use them wisely when speaking to others, and to transform them into stories and projects and creative ideas. But with every ability comes a responsibility, and that requires a lot of guidance from the Holy Spirit.


Filed under Being Creative, Bible, Christ, Imagination, Writing

Never. Give. Up.


At a writers’ conference last fall, I had the opportunity to meet with a well known literary agent. I had just fifteen minutes to pitch my novel to him – a huge step of faith for me – and he liked it. Gave me his business card and asked me to submit it to his agency when it’s finished. When the meeting was over, he pointed his finger in my face and stared me down as he said, “Never. Give. Up”.

Riding on the euphoria of actually having written something a real live agent liked, I let his words slip away without giving them much thought. But in the months since that meeting, I’ve been seeing those words everywhere. Posters, book covers, TV commercials, Facebook posts. Never Give Up. You think maybe somebody is trying to tell me something?

Here’s the deal, folks: TO GIVE UP IS NOT AN OPTION.

You have to remind yourself every single day, maybe every single hour, that you can do this. It doesn’t matter what it is – painting, selling, writing, going to school, looking for a job, raising kids, inventing – Never. Give. Up.

So you failed. More than once. You can give up or go on. Pick one.

I pick go on, so . . .

I have to stay focused instead of allowing distractions to eat up my time. I have to resist the temptation to revise the first 60 pages of my novel for the 327th time instead of moving forward in the story. I have to set reasonable goals and stick to achieving them. Otherwise I’ll be at the writers’ conference next fall, meeting with the same literary agent, pitching my still-unfinished novel.

I believe I can do this! And I believe you can too.




Filed under Writing