Find Your Focus Round-up

by Lori Walker
published in Writing

This has been one of these days where no matter how hard I try, I simply cannot focus on the task at hand. OK, maybe it’s been one of those months. I know for some people, it’s been difficult to find focus since the pandemic started.

Every person has their own way of finding focus. But every now and then, it feels like the old ways stop working and I need something new to regain my focus, creatively or even in the work setting.

Fortunately, DIY MFA has you covered with tons of tips on how to find or regain your focus. Just in time for the holidays with all of their disruptions and distractions and in time for the new year with its set of lofty goals.

1. Overwhelmed? Overworked? Over-Committed? How to Keep Focus in 2014

This is truly an oldie but a goodie! It’s a month out from being nine years old! But the information that Marcie Flinchum Atkins shares about goal setting is still applicable today. She breaks down how you can narrow your focus in quarterly, monthly, and weekly segments. Check it out if you are in need of some general order.

2. Episode 31: Finding Focus in Your Writing

This episode was back when Gabriela was primarily doing solo shows on the podcast. Here she walks listeners through her process for deciding where to spend her writerly energy. Inspiration is everywhere and there are shiny new projects around every corner, but we can’t write all the things at once. This episode will help you narrow it down.

3. #5onFri: Five Tai Chi and Yoga Techniques to Help With Writer Focus

Physical movement is a great way of expending excess energy, which then allows us to return to the task at hand with a clearer mind and sharpened focus. Columnist Ambre Dawn Leffler walks you through five exercises to help relieve stress, reduce mental clutter, and fuel your creativity.

4. Lose The Mental Clutter and Find Your Focus

Remember several years ago when we were all Marie Kondo-ing our possessions to get rid of clutter? Well, former DIY MFA columnist Leanne Sowul walks you through five steps that will help you Marie Kondo your mind and get rid of mental clutter. Once your mind is freer, you’ll be able to return to the open page with more clarity.

5. Episode 293: Find Your Creative Focus — Interview with Jessica Abel

Jessica Abel is a longtime friend of DIY MFA and in this episode, she talks about taking the creative process from beginning to The End. Jessica is all about helping writers find the structure and processes they need to cross that creative finish line, but it all starts with finding focus and taking control.

6. #5onFri: Five Tips for Narrowing Your Focus

Choosing a topic for a book can be a pretty daunting task. We want to tell ALL THE STORIES! But we can’t do that in a single volume. So how do you choose? Well, this guest post will help walk you through Lynne Golodner’s process for narrowing down your possibilities until you find that one topic you’re excited to write about. Then you save the other ideas for your next project—nothing is ever wasted!

7. #5onFri: Five Ways the Vagus Nerve Helps Writers Focus

Sometimes we need a little grounding in order to get back on track. When we get stressed, our brains kick into fight-or-flight mode and they don’t always know when to come out and resume normal operations. But guest poster Brittany Capozzi shares her secret weapon—the Vagus nerve—and how you can harness its power to get grounded.

Regardless of what kind of focus you are trying to gain—be it organizational, creative, or momentary—I hope these resources help you out.

Happy creating!

Lori Walker is the Operations Maven at DIY MFA. She is also the producer and co-host of DIY MFA Radio and editor-in-chief of, among other roles. Lori is a copyeditor for Amanda Filippelli and collaborating fellow for The Poetry Lab. She writes personal essays and memoir in Tulsa, where she lives with her husband and cat, Joan Didion. You can follow her on Instagram at @LoriTheWriter.

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