Inspiration may be a sine qua non-condition for writing. Many believe it is impossible to write well without it. However, while we do not deny that inspiration exists, the truth is that these moments are not so every day. Therefore, a sensible writer should not be waiting for them to advance in his work.
In fact, rather than waiting for inspiration, the writer should encourage concentration. Concentrated work gives rise to the bursts of inspiration that authors are so enthusiastic about. When we traditionally speak of inspiration, we are talking about concentration.
Of course, we do not consider cases where writing texts is your job, with clear deadlines. For example, as a professional author at https://essayswriter.org/, there are external circumstances that force you to mobilize. But if we’re talking about writing as your hobby or something you’d like to do but can’t organize yourself, then it’s worth considering concentration and motivation.
What is concentration
Concentration consists of fixing our attention on a task for a substantial period of time. However, it goes beyond fixing our attention. When we are truly focused, we also push ourselves harder. We make a voluntary effort to push ourselves to the limits of our capabilities to create something worthwhile and do it in the best possible way.
Therefore, when we work with concentration, we strive to do our best. That is why the works we write in that state are necessarily better than those we write in a state of semi-distraction.
Why a writer needs concentration
A writer works in the world of ideas. His tool is his brain because it is there where the stories he wants to write are often born, and with it, he shapes them, evaluates the best ways to approach them, makes decisions about the resources and techniques he will use, or carefully chooses words and phrases.
Consequently, a writer needs mental acuity to focus his attention intensely on his work. This means avoiding distractions, to bring his mental capacities to their maximum expression. Only in this way will he be able to give birth to a work of true value.
Without concentration, you can only produce mediocre work equal to that of many. You will not stand out among the thousand originals an editor has on his desk or among the thousands of self-published authors. To achieve that, you must create the best that your abilities allow you to write. And that can only be achieved when you are focused.
Benefits of concentration
But working focused will not only allow you to write better work. It will also allow you to better understand your craft, its tools and resources, how you like to use them, and your own writing process. When we admire a writer’s talent, style, and literary production brilliance, we usually admire (without knowing it) someone who has learned to work with concentration. Someone who has focused their attention on their writing for so long that they have achieved mastery.
It is deliberate practice and concentrated work that leads to excellence, and not so much inspiration or innate talent. This is because, the former allows us to hone our skills and take them to a higher level, acquiring exceptional mastery over them.
Furthermore, concentration is rewarding in itself. Several studies on neuroscience have found that human beings feel happier and more fulfilled when an activity requires effort and attention. This is because it forces us to give the best of ourselves. Although it may seem paradoxical, these studies show that we are happier working in this way than in moments of relaxation in our free time.
That is the enjoyment of his or her art to which a writer should aspire. And not so much conceiving of writing as a kind of light leisure meant for amusement.
Superficiality versus concentration
Unfortunately, our current way of life tends to fragment our attention. Thus, it is more difficult to carry out concentrated work since it requires long periods of uninterrupted intellectual activity. That is why we recommend you set aside large chunks of time to devote to your writing rather than writing for short periods, even if there are many.
Spending little time on a task or jumping from one to another systematically will make it difficult to work with real concentration. In fact, these habits will greatly affect our ability to concentrate. So if you spend most of your time on tasks of a superficial nature, then you will no longer be able to develop the capacity for sustained concentration.
Concentration can be trained
Luckily, you can also train concentration. To do this, you must start by creating conditions that facilitate concentration. Try developing a consistent writing routine, and creating conditions around you that make it easier for you to focus on the task.
Make a space in your agenda to dedicate yourself to writing. Just ensure that it is always at the same time, in the same place, and for long periods. Organize your environment to avoid distractions and keep all the materials you need to develop your work. Additionally, try to avoid distractions and have a work plan to follow day by day. For example, start each writing session by rereading what you wrote in the previous session. Then, write in concentration for a couple of hours and finish by preparing the next day’s work.
Concentration is useful even during leisure time. Organize your free time and plan enriching activities that foster your attention span. If you don’t have any plans for your free time, you are more likely to waste it on activities that keep you distracted.
Concentration is like a muscle that has lost its power due to lack of use. There is no choice but to strengthen it again, “forcing” it to work. So when you’re writing, and you feel the temptation to pause “just for a moment” to “rest”, don’t let yourself do it. Stay focused on your task.
This will increase the time you can write in true concentration. First, it will be half an hour, then one, and finally, you’ll be able to sustain your attention for hours. That’s when your writing will turn around. You will be able to foster every day a state of mind similar to what is usually called inspiration but is actually just concentration.