Ascent has broken through 70k words. The more I add to it, the more I end up liking it. I think the end result is going to be an amazing ride.

But this is only part of today’s post. The rest is about focus. Ooooh, shiny!

Back when I published my first book, I thought the second would come naturally. I thought I’d just sit down, and the words would flow like an avalanche. To a degree, I was right. Initially, content exploded onto the digital pages. I was unstoppable.

Then, real life happened.

As deadlines and obligations tossed me around like a ragdoll, all I could think about was “how the hell am I going to write this thing?”

With great difficulty, it turned out. I wrote in a Café. I wrote in a bus. Sometimes, I even wrote in my own home. This lasted for several months. Of course, the disruptive nature of these places (yes, that includes my home) had made those chapters far less cohesive than I’d like them to be. So there had to be edits and rewrites. Some more cut material. And the pace kept slowing down.

Fast forward a couple of months. I sit in my place, alone after years of not being alone. Now is the time to give it my all. I sit before my computer. I crack my knuckles. Magic happens. The words flow as they never did before. Events take shape; not as I’ve planned but even better. And all the while, I keep hammering that keyboard.

Focus is divine.

It took me three weeks to write Risen. In contrast, the last ten days had me adding as much material as the entire length of Risen to my second book. Knowing this is empowering because it tells me what I am capable of. Knowing this is humbling because it tells me just how many opportunities I’ve missed in the past.

But that way madness lies. To think of all the things that could have happened is to throw in the towel. Nothing breaks a person faster than regret. Nothing slows the mind and bends the body worse than musings about coulda woulda shoulda.

Circumstances and failures are inevitable. What is not inevitable is victory. And what this victory requires is focus. Tossing aside the unimportant and unworthy, and just doing what needs to be done. One step at a time, no matter how small or insignificant.

Nothing else is worth one’s time.

Do not get humbled, my friends. Get focused.

M. T. Miller


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