As with most things in my bipolar life, I’m a reader/writer of extremes – I either lose focus quickly and become easily bored, or I hyperfocus to the point where I’ll read or write to the detriment of non-writing tasks such as housework and shopping; I will read for many hours instead of sleeping; I will put all other reading and writing tasks to one side and procrastinate from them. Eventually I often over-exhaust the subject and suddenly become bored of it.
I can learn a great deal of depth about a single subject in this way but it’s not great for one’s physical or mental health.
Active reading is a good way of focusing on a textbook or journal – making copies of the pages/chapter, for example, and highlighting parts, making notes, etc. whilst reading through the first time, and then studying the text again alongside the notes made.
“But focusing on writing fiction is hard!”
It is. I find the best way of gaining a bit of motivation and keeping focus is to set a timer and promise myself, ‘You only have to write for ten minutes.’ Nine times out of ten when the timer goes off, I’ve started enjoying what I’m doing and I want to carry on.
And as for internet distractions… Sorry, can’t help you there. I’ve tried turning the WiFi off, blocking Facebook and Twitter, writing in a field (yep, still had data signal on my phone). Sometimes you just need to know stuff. Although, Google still won’t tell me why I have fingertips and not toetips but I can still tiptoe and not tipfinger.