The Focus of Your Writing


One of the deepest lessons of being a successful writer is to do with where to place focus.

I don’t mean the focus that the writer puts on his or her work, though of course that’s linked. I mean the unspoken, often unconscious focus behind or around that.

Writing is a lonely affair. It has to be. To get those stories out onto the page or screen from wherever they dwell requires concentration, time and space. But surrounding that work is the invisible framework of thinking which is centred on the writer: the writer is doing this for his or her pleasure, or satisfaction, or fulfilment of yearning, or desire, or because of some partly hidden compulsion.

It’s all about the writer.

This may have been voiced to some degree, like ‘I'm writing so I can have freedom and flexibility, never have to work for anyone else again and perhaps escape from some restrictive or unpleasant things in my life.’

That statement orbits around the writer.

What results is fiction which is self-centred to some degree. It may act as a kind of therapy for the writer, but it’s unlikely to be successful for readers.

What’s needed is a mental ‘switch’ to another point of view. Those writers who can accomplish this switch - and many can and do - achieve