We all multi-task. Our society virtually demands it. We can’t even drive to a nearby location without having gadgets and smart phones in the car with us.

And that comes at a price.

We miss a lot. It’s so easy to get sidetracked. Day after day we get swept up in the squeakiest social media wheel. And that’s just when we have a little free time.

Pretty soon, deadlines are upon us, opportunities have been missed. And truly workable ideas have been lost.

I had a manuscript that an acquiring editor had critiqued. She needed some changes to look at it again. There were two contests bearing down on me – (y’all know I like a contest) – but precious little time left to participate.

There was only one thing to do.

F – O – C – U – S !!

Every minute that I have had for writing, I’ve applied to my projects. I don’t know if they are successful yet. But I have been. My manuscript has been reworked and resubmitted. Two contests have been entered. And there is no way to lose, as the feedback is priceless even if you don’t win.

And guess what?

By focusing on my story, not getting sidetracked, not wasting creativity on internet surfing, the story stayed fresh and the details remained in my head from previous work days. Characters walked with me. They woke me up anxious to get busy. I didn’t insult them by dropping them for other projects. I didn’t have to reread the preceding ten pages before I could get back into the world of my manuscript. It was so much easier.

Try it if you have a project that has stalled. Stay with it solely. Don’t waste valuable writing time multi-tasking and spreading it as thinly as honey on hot toast.

Your reward may be a finished project.

Renee Johnson is the author of Acquisition, and The Haunting of William Gray.  She is currently working on a Young Adult novel, while editing a suspense novel which has international flair–an homage to her love of travel and foreign food.  She lives on a farm in North Carolina with her husband, Tony Johnson, and one very spoiled German shepherd named Gretel.