Tuesday, September 8, 2009

When the Muse Disappears

The long weekend was a welcome break to get some rest, have fun, and spend some quality time with family. It sure went by quickly, though! Now it's back to work...but I'm having a slight problem.

I. Can't. Focus. At. All. (A few days away from work, and my brain has already turned to mush.)

So what to do?

Well, it's simple really. I am a writer...so I need to sit down and write.

Since I was thinking about this and struggling with it right now, I thought I'd share my tips (for staying motivated) with you.

Sure, it may be a little difficult to start, but usually getting started is the hardest part. Just sit down and put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard).

Sometimes it helps to try mixing it up a bit - work on an article that I find really interesting, or conduct an interview, or even follow up on submissions. Or maybe write a blog post. :)

If that doesn't work, try taking a ten minute break, and play with the kids. Be completely in the moment and totally focus on them. Then, go back to work. Usually, a quick break leaves me feeling refreshed and sometimes even sparks some new ideas.

Another option (that almost never fails) is to get up and stretch for a few minutes. Take a quick walk or even do some jumping jacks to really wake up and get your blood moving.

Healthy snacking also helps me to stay energized. As a chocoholic, it is SO difficult for me not to gorge myself on unhealthy food choices, but I notice a huge difference (in my ability to stay awake, stay focused and write as well as in my productivity) when I incorporate more whole grains, fruits, and veggies into my diet.

Lastly, but quite importantly, drink plenty of water. Becoming dehydrated can make you extremely tired and can make it difficult for you to focus. I keep a water bottle on my desk at all times, and make sure that I get in at least eight cups of water every day.

Well, I have an article to finish (one that I've been putting off for far too long!), so I'd better get back to work now.

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