It’s winter here in Illinois, which means snow and ice. The other morning, because the sidewalks looked treacherous, I decided to take the street to work. As I trudged along, I noticed a car about three blocks ahead. I focused on it, wondering if it would turn or continue on towards me.
Then the unexpected happened. Before I could do anything, I pitched forward, landing on my knees. The case with my laptop computer inside it hit the street beside me. The culprit was a pot hole, which I would have noticed if I’d not concentrated on looking ahead instead of where I was.
I scrambled up and glanced around to make sure I wouldn’t get hit. The car I’d concentrated on had turned. None others were in sight.
I took stock of my condition. Fortunately, I appeared to have suffered only scrapes and bruises on my knees and one elbow. My jeans were still intact. No one could even tell I’d fallen. Glad I’d got off so lightly, I continued on to the train station. Once seated on the train, I turned on my computer and found it also had been spared.
The incident taught me a valuable lesson which I’m applying to writing. Focus on the here and now. Do one thing at a time and get it done right. Ignore all those exciting ideas milling about my brain, keeping me from completing my goal. I’ve got a manuscript over half-finished. I need to get it done.
But what about those bright, shiny ideas calling for my attention? I’m so tempted to play with them instead of buckling down. I won’t. I’ve told them they’ll get their chance. To make sure I don’t forget any of them, I’ve made up a to-do list.
April 23, the first day of my RWA chapter’s Spring Fling Conference, will be here before I know it. I don’t want to be caught by surprise with nothing to pitch.
What about you? Do you find it hard to focus on one project? Have you ever regretted not finishing a manuscript because you started a new one instead?
By the way, there’s still room at Spring Fling where you, too, can pitch to an editor or agent.