Keeping your head down.
It’s a term I learned recently. It means staying focused, working hard, and not allowing yourself to be distracted.
Even though I learned the term, it hasn’t meant that I’ve put it into practice as much as I’d liked. But I keep trying.
My goal is to write a lot of books and unlike the movies that portray the writer’s life as do nothing but stroll on the beach, drink coffee and wine, and then, when the muse should decide, disappear into a study alone to write beautiful prows as it flows out of your brain and through your fingertips and on to the keyboard, creating words as fast as you can narrate. You print the night’s work, reading and chuckling to yourself as you bathe in the last page and final cleaver words. Sent off to the editor, you begin packing for the world wide book tour, where adoring fans will fan you with palm fronds in between your readings and their ovations. It’s not exactly so, at least based on my experience.
Writing does mean a lot of time alone, yes; but it requires dedicated work. A lot of it
Writing is hard. Not hard like digging ditches for a living, or pouring cement. No, it’s hard in that you must take a thought, turn it into words that someone else can read, and arrive at near the same thought with which you began.
OK, that’s not the hard part. That’s the craft, the fun part.
The hard part is in not letting things get in your way of forming those words (which takes more time to edit, than to write). I’ve posted before that unless you are being paid directly for your efforts by an overseer, many people give the effort no respect. Sometimes, it’s the writer who doesn’t respect the time.
Phone calls, texts, posts, drop-ins, family functions, TV, movies, drives, etc. They all distract.
When you keep your head down, you see none of the distractions. Your eyes, pointed down, are focused on what’s at hand. Your body forms a shield about you, bent forward there’s only forward to go. You move ahead. Progress becomes assured. Progress moves you closer to completion and success. And success leads back to focus.
I apologize ahead of time to my friends and family. But I’m important to me and my head’s got to stay down for a little while. I’ll play hard and be with you all when I am. I’ll need breaks. But when I’m at work, let me work so hopefully I can drop your head down while you read the best damned books ever.