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AUTHORS: FINDING FOCUS IN CHALLENGING TIMES

Wow. No one saw this one coming except Bill Gates. If there’s any doubt, I’m referring to the pandemic that has changed everything. Our thinking has changed, our responsibilities have changed, and our focus is challenged beyond anything we’ve ever encountered. Our priorities are a bit different, as we think more often about those near and dear to us and their safety. No evil antagonist can compare to the ravages of this plague.

As an author, it can be difficult to find time to write, and sink into that sweet spot of creativity amidst the plethora of diversions life sends our way. Dogs barking, kids yelling, phones ringing, the list seems endless. It is the norm for any author and like anything, we learn to adjust. But now it seems we must learn to adjust all over again. Suddenly our multi-tasking, fast-paced world has slammed into a proverbial wall, throwing us into the stay-at-home mode. Finding toilet paper and hand sanitizer have taken priority over our hopes of finishing the next chapter of our book.

A couple of weeks after the lock down, someone suggested to me that now would be a great time to work on my next book. I inwardly cringed at the idea. Apparently, when I’d closed the door to the public and shut myself within my protective cocoon, I locked out potential danger, but also my desire to write! I wondered how anyone could focus on anything but the virus and its devastation. How could I even consider writing with the world in such an uproar?

So what about that? As authors, are we selfish in wanting our old lives back? Will we come off as cold or indifferent if we embrace a small slice of time and pen at least a page here and there? I say no. If we want to truly help those around us it might lessen the trauma of the situation by continuing with as normal a life as possible. Recently, I ran across a quote from Oprah Winfrey and it spoke to my heart.

“Know what sparks the light in you. Then use that light to illuminate the world.” http://Oprah.com

That’s powerful stuff! I realized if I stood paralyzed by the situation, I was feeding into the fear. I was giving away my power. Limited as it might be, I still had a small arsenal to work with. I’m not going to lie, it was slow going at first. I had to incorporate a few techniques into my daily routine to boost my spirits and add to my inner strength.

First, I limited my media exposure, including social media.

Second, I continued my daily meditation, even if I only managed a few minutes.

Third, I did not push myself beyond what I felt I could handle.

It worked, and I found my focus slowly returning each day.

In a time when most of us feel hopeless to do anything but sit and wait, I believe one of the best things we as authors can do is write. The art of writing is a gift, and it is something we can give to the world; especially now. This the time for everyone to come together and offer their gifts, both great and small, to get us through the challenges. Authors can stand at the forefront to help people focus on something they love to incorporate an element of peace into their lives. Thank you for doing your part. Please stay safe, stay healthy, and keep writing.


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