I was told today in my writer’s group that I need to focus. This had come as our speaker for the meeting questioned everyone about what they write. I had asked, “As in working on right now, or in what genres have we written?” Not receiving an answer, I decided to go with the latter when my turn came to respond. Since we were discussing the romance genre, I said, “Contemporary, paranormal, suspense, historical. Oh, and I’ve written some sci-fi, and I’m currently also working on young adult.” The presenting author cried out with a good-natured laugh, “Goodness, you need to focus!”
She followed this up with asking if I manage to finish anything with all those interests. I told her I will put something aside because it isn’t working, but that I do finish most of my projects. Certain of the ladies in my group felt the need to come to my defense, bless them, by telling her that I have been published quite a few times. There was no need to defend me, my dears. I know who I am. I know my shortcomings and my strengths and despite my ability to complete a great deal of the projects I begin, I do, in fact, lack focus. I have no particular specialty. The prevailing theme in what I write is love. That, at least, is consistent. But the ability to stick to one sub-genre eludes me.
My problem is, every day a new story cries out to me, forms in my brain, whispers in my ear. I can set them aside for a while, but eventually I have to do my level best to get that story out of my head and onto paper. I can’t HELP it. I’ve been doing this since I was seven years old, for crying out loud.
And the problem doesn’t stop there. Besides creating characters and worlds in literary pursuit, I find myself creating other things as well. I have a houseful of those items: paintings, jewelry, candles, the occasional odd-looking sculpture that is meant to be something (“squint your eyes and you’ll get it”). At my age, I don’t think I’m going to develop focus, not even if someone boils it down into liquid form and I imbibe every day.
Still, I’m happy with my scatterbrain, non-focusedness (yes, I know, that’s not a word) of creativity. The daily dance of frenetic inspiration counters the stress of the hyper-focused portion of my day, and that’s not such a bad thing, is it? I think we all possess a bit of that need to make a special whole out of lesser parts, whether it be a cake, a home, a garden, a song. It keeps us sane.