All of those are viable visuals for “focus,” but what does “focus” mean to your writing?
When I apply the word “focus” to writing, whether it’s a simple blog post, a press release for a client, or a story for my children, I see it as a metaphor derived from my background as a photographer.
Photographers want their images to be “in focus,” as sharp and as clear as they can be (in most cases). As the photographer focuses on their subject by making slight turns and adjustments of the lens, so the writer tries to see the story as clearly as possible through visualization, drafting, revisualization, editing (and more editing) until “the picture” is crystal clear. Then, snap. Done.
So how does focus express itself in your writing? How can you, as a writer, achieve better focus?
Here are some common questions I ask while writing that help sharpen the picture:
1 – Who’s the story talking to?
2 – What’s the news?
3 – What’s one thing the reader MUST know?
4 – What makes this story interesting? (Is it interesting to others or just you?)
5 – What is the story about? (No, REALLY, what’s it about?)
5.5 – Walk away and look at it later with fresh eyes. (Revisualization)
While anyone can pick up a pencil, pen or pull out a keyboard and write, if it’s focused, writing can have impact. With focus, writing can help your community, help make change, help save lives and inspire the world.
How do you focus when writing?