RPC, Inc. 

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Staying Focused

Posted by ReynoldsPublishingCompany on January 24, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Every day I come into the "office" (the coffee house you see in the photo on the home page), I read over my email, the events of the day, read a few newspapers, look into the analytics of current clients, write a blog entry or two, an article or two and look for more work.

That is "generally" what I do. This varies, of course, with what I get in the mail. And what "jobs" i may find or what client, or potential client, comes into the office that day.

But the one thing that I have to struggle with each day, is staying focused.

Reynolds Publishing Company encompasses ALL of my wiritng work. Which is a LOT of writing, personally (my books) and professionally (freelance, news, et al). And it is easy to get distracted by the small nuances of the day.

Family news on Facebook, personal emails, clients stopping in "just to chat", potential clients asking "what should I do if" questions, acqauintances dropping in for their daily coffee intake who want to know "so what are you working on today" or "how's the new book coming along."

Even though I always welcome the interactions, it takes a lot to stay focused. In a purely business response, I tell myself if I lose focus, I don't make money. And if I don't make money, I can't pay the bills. And if THAT happens, I have to get a "day job" and not write as much. And I love writing way too much to NOT write. So this is to be avoided.

In the response from my creative (read non-business minded) side, I have to remember that without interactions with clients, potential clients and just everyone else, I lose sight of the human factor to my business. I write, yes. But I write to help others succeed. If I have no vested interest in seeing others succeed, I can't do my job.

Thus the conundrum of working in a coffee house, which Robert Masello of The 101 Rules You Need to Know sees as a violation of Rule 7. I need to write but I need to stay connected.

Thus, I indulge in the casual conversation, even if it takes me away from writing for a few minutes. In this way I stay connected to the outside world, which is where my bsuiness comes from, after all. And I just might have an answer to the odd question or two, which doesn't hurt to dish out. And I might just pick up a new client, or add to my knowledge that I'll use later or give me an idea for an new angle on something I have been working on. Either way, it can only be a win-win situation.

So staying focused is important. And I am the only one who can do it. I have no "boss" to tell me to stay focused. I have no spouse to tell me. My kids are grown and wouldn't think to tell me to stay focused anyway. Its just me. So I wake up each day, look in the mirror and say "Focus, old man. Focus."

Its become a habit. A good habit. One I recommend to any writer at any stage in their career.

So now that I have shared that bit of advice, I am off to the races and staying focused. Write, write, and write some more. (This is number 3 writing for today, BTW.)

Have a great day, and stay focused.


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