Observations of life by author and poet Charles L. Chatmon. (Matthew 16:18)
If it can happen to William Shakespeare, if you are a writer it can happen to you too. There will come a time where you lose focus of your productivity, your motivation will fade, sink into the recesses of your mind and in some cases, never to return. Only the ones who continue to write no matter what will see their rewards. For the rest, it was a nice try. It just didn't get the writers what they thought they deserved. It happens, especially to yours truly many years ago. I lost my focus; my drive was interrupted due to distractions and low self-esteem. After all these years I am glad to announce to you reader, that I have returned with a clear objective of who I am and my purpose as a writer.
There may be one or two of you reading this shaking your head saying 'What do you mean? We see your written works on this blog!' The point is there was a time before my first book was published that I lost my focus and my drive. It was at a time where earning that college degree was more important to me than the actual writing. There were times I wrote a few pages of a story in my head, only to stop and move on to another project I thought would eventually catch everyone's attention. As I mentioned earlier, it happens to the best of us.
I invite you folks to do an online search of why Shakespeare stopped writing, but there are plenty of reasons why the great writers and authors find themselves in a spot where the work isn't flowing like it used to. While I don't want to give writer's block too much credit, all I can say is that distractions ruin the creative process. Looking at another artist's work takes away the momentum and drive you as a writer may have created for yourself when you compare their accomplished works to your own. There should be no comparison at all. We all have different paths to travel in this journey called life. I don't remember the actual quote but I remember in my high school yearbook in my senior year a teacher wrote Success to you. It is surely in your grasp. I believe that's what she said. Not only did I believed that, I started to fulfil it by writing for my junior college newspaper (a contribution of two articles), university newspaper (two articles) and community newspapers. In between college and the community newspaper contribution, that's when I lost my way. I didn't want to lose it but I did.
How did I make it back to fulfill my dream of publishing a book? I never gave up on myself. Whatever project I started and didn't finish, I kept it with me as a possible work to finish later. My unfinished first drafts of uncompleted short stories, poems, etc. are in a file I keep for my own personal use. That's how I kept my focus by believing in The Dream rather than letting it die. I refused to let it go. I didn't want to. It's a part of me that I never want to surrender.
If there is one thing I can say to future authors, writers and poets, don't give up. Keep writing and working hard to maintain your dream. Don't be distracted by that new bestselling author who appears on TV or has a movie coming out based on their work. I have on my friends' list on one social media platform one such author who has gained success from her writing. Instead of letting jealousy eat me alive, I continue to work hard on my craft to prove my written works mean something to someone out there. Only you the reader can judge whether or not as a writer I meet your expectations enough to support and buy my work. All I can do is write the best material I can to earn that trust.
To all future authors, writers and poets, keep working hard. Never lose sight of what you do and how much dedication you put in to make sure you earn each accolade, every word of praise from your readers. One day you will be the one we will all be talking about. We will join your social media pages, we will speak earnestly of your works, we will praise you to the highest. Before that ever occurs, unlike Shakespeare or even the author of this piece, donât let distractions and a loss of focus take you the long way around. Focus on the road that will take you straight to success.