Tag Archives: focus


close eyes


This is a great technique for focusing the mind when you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, confused or distracted and want to clear those troubling thoughts and focus on what you need to do or want to do right now. It’s easy to think, “I don’t have time for this, I need to press on and meet my deadline”, but you are way more likely to do that with some focus.

Some people worry about the idea of hypnosis but we’re talking here about you developing the skills to relax and separate yourself from outside distractions so you can focus completely on your writing.This is a truly liberating experience whether you want to tackle a big problem in your life, whether you just want to relax or whether you want to clear your mind of trivia and become more creative.

Before you start self hypnosis you need a goal, a statement that sums up what in NLP we call the ‘desirable outcome.’ This should be expressed in simple positive terms, for example, ‘I want to see my word count at the bottom of my document as 1,000′ or ‘I want to press send’ or ‘I want to be able to tell my client that I’ve finished’. The first is visual, the second kinaesthetic and the third is auditory. Say it over and over a few times to get the words just right so that they express what you really do want. Now you’re ready to begin.

Firstly find somewhere quiet and comfortable and turn off the phone. Ensure you will not be disturbed for about half an hour.

Now close your eyes. If you have a busy life you are bound to start thinking of everything you really should be doing. Let these thoughts come but as each one emerges, mentally pop it into a box and stack this box outside your room. Do this which each of these thoughts and keep going until you are free of them. They will be there for you afterwards but for now you need to put them out of your mind.

Become conscious of your body. Start with your feet. Gently squeeze your toes and rotate your ankles then let them relax.

Now your calves, squeeze and relax a few times.

Your knees need to be flexed a few times then relax them into a comfortable position.

Lots of people hold stress in their stomach. Breathe in deeply right to the stomach, place your hands on it and feel it move. Place your hands higher on to your chest and breathe deeply feeling the air move in and out of your body.

Now for your shoulders. Hunch them up then relax. Rotate the shoulders forward and then back a few times, then let them fall.

Stress is also held in the neck. Rotate your head and rock it from said to side and nod front and back. Then let your head relax back on the pillow if you’re lying down or onto a cushion or the back of your chair.

Some people find music helpful for relaxing especially if it helps drown out any background activity or noises. Others prefer the quiet. Whatever your preference, focus on it and continue to breathe deeply.

You should now feel pretty relaxed both in your body and mind. To increase the state of trance though you need to take one step more. Think about somewhere truly relaxing. This may be somewhere you’ve been on holiday or a walk you enjoy, a picture you love or music perhaps.

Go to this place and state your goal, say over and over again the statement you devised before you started. Really let it be absorbed into your subconscious by hearing the words, feeling them, seeing them and believing them to be true. Imagine you have achieved this goal, how are you feeling? Imagine living the goal, how does it feel. In this trance state your limiting beliefs, those barriers you put in the way of achieving your goal, are removed. You can achieve your goal, nothing is preventing you now.

When you are ready, leave this wonderful place and return to a conscious state. You will feel incredibly relaxed and able to cope with living your goal.

You will still feel a bit sleepy and may need to gradually ‘come to’ so allow time to do this slowly. Once you’ve done this a few times you will find the process quite accessible and you will be able to do it quicker and apply it to all sorts of situations to give you greater balance in your life, relaxation skills and the ability to override those troublesome limiting belief we all share.

Judy Bartkowiak is an NLP Trainer and Coach. To find out more about NLP go to her NLP website or download her NLP app. Her books can be purchased from the website or Amazon.

Focusing on your goal

I think most writers would agree that from time to time they lose their way a bit. We can get distracted by Facebook or by the housework, a book that will surely help us or writing something else that has suddenly taken our interest. We , like dieters, get really cross with ourselves and say “well that was a wasted day, I may as well not bother now because I’m not going to meet my daily wordcount goal.”


Instead let’s reframe the distraction. Meet it headlong and ask it what it has for you. How could you use the distraction to your advantage? Here are some ideas.

1. So you find yourself on Facebook or Twitter and you need to be writing your oeuvre.

How about asking your friends what a word you’re writing in your book, means to them. Ask them what they feel about the subject you’re writing about. Ask them for their favourite word. Maybe you can use it. Put out a plea for a quote that you could use. Ask favourite colour , maybe your character could wear something that colour. What is the most bizarre name they have ever heard of? What is the strangest sounding place name? Use your distraction to move you on with your book.

2. You’ve found yourself in Youtube and you’re getting carried away some place else.

Well this is fine, it is research isn’t it? Search for videos on subjects your character might be interested in. Search for videos on the same subject you’re writing on. Think about how you might post a Youtube video on your blog, you could take your smartphone and do it right now. Video posts or vloggs are very popular and drive a lot of traffic to your blog. Talk to camera about where you are in your story what’s the block, what are your options. This will engage with your readers and make them ten times more likely to follow your blog so they find out when you’re book’s coming out.

3. While you’re researching you find someone’s blog with some great posts on. If only you could write like that …. blah blah blah

Of course there are better writers out there and that’s good isn’t it? Who wants to read rubbish anyway? So what makes their writing good? What can you learn from it? Do they have a great way of starting a new paragraph or concept? Have a go at doing the same yourself. Do they use some great adjectives, copy them into your work. Obviously you aren’t taking the whole sentence but play around with some of the words you like.

4. For some reason you know not why, you’re doing the housework.

Well you character may have a view about housework. What would their view be? How would they approach the housework? Which would they like doing first and what would be left til last? Are they someone who hates to stick their hand down the toilet or are they someone who has to hunt out every cobweb. Do the housework like your character and get some more insight into their nature.

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5. I know it, you’re gazing out of the window

Who could be there? What might your character see? What will they do? Who do they least want to see? How could you make something happen that will be exciting and unexpected? What’s the most random thing that could happen now? If this doesn’t fit into your story or you’re writing non-fiction then how is what you are feeling or seeing at this moment a metaphor for the subject you’re writing about? Could it make a good blog post?

So here you have it. This blog post started by me looking out of the window and noticing how the frost on the leaves has gone and wondering what the garden will look like tomorrow when I wake up as there’s snow forecast. For me this reminded me how different my page looks when it’s full of writing, like the bushes covered in frost. The page looks attractive to me but underneath the blank page where I am about to write, looks bare and ugly so I want to fill it.