The Creative Focus

by Samantha Parrish about a month ago in advice

The organized chaos for your creation station.

The Creative Focus

Do you remember that episode of SpongeBob where he’s trying to write his report about what not to do a stoplight? He isn’t focused because the thoughts just weren’t coming to him?

That’s a pretty spot on representation of what people feel like when there is just no creative flow or any thoughts to continue to talk about a certain subject or anything.

I keep wanting these days where I just write until my pencils are dulled and I have drank my tea to the point it’s just sugar water.

But we all have different ways of channeling our concentration.


For music, it can be a wonderful tool to help feeling focused in order to get yourself immersed in your own world of being creative. But, sometimes it’s hard to find the right music, and it could be that a certain playlist is selected that is more inclined to match the work your doing. For me, if I’m writing a very intense scene I have to play very intense music to help out with the ambience. If I’m writing a very somber scene I need to have some very subtle and soft music.

But above mood music matching, there also has to be a focus on the time, so I try to make sure to catalog and calculate how many songs I’ve listened to that can help me determine how long I have sat with a certain scene or try to compose a certain idea for an article. With the different songs that comes up it does give me a random set of time depending on how long the song is and I edit the playlist by dragging up the song to the top of the list. That way if 10 songs go by I can determine that was 15 to 20 minutes.

Sometimes I 'll compose a certain playlist that could make the sum of two hours. As time goes on, I'll edit the playlist and delete them to keep track of staying within my two hour time-limit.


On my desk I have it set up that I have sticky notes with categories of my progress so I can keep in mind what hard work I have to do, but to keep track of the progress I’ve made so far. I’ll know in my mind how much I have done, but always feels good to see it written on a sticky note to know that I am steadily making progress and also keeps me going to have that checklist.

Dress for the Mess

With a title like that for the segment that I’m gonna talk about, I’ll explain. I have felt extremely creative when I am dressed for the day. I feel like I’m ready to work because I feel very great about myself, I feel focused, because I gave the time to focus on myself to put myself together. I’ve already given myself an aura of positive emotional energy to be able to put that positive work into what I have to do.

I’m not saying they have to put on your best dress if you’re going to go have tea with Queen Elizabeth, or having to wear something that looks like you would wear to the Oscars. A casual dress or a nice button up shirt just feels very put together before putting together the work.

I’ve gotten myself ready which means I am ready for the day because I put on my battle armor and I put on my warpaint.

The world around you

When you are creating something for a book or an essay or an article or anything whether be fictional or analytical.

The world around you might help you then what you’re trying to cook up at your brain.

The world around you or the world within your room can help you more than you think. If you remember the part from Mrs. Doubtfire when Robin Williams was trying to think of a name on the spot and created the titular name. That special brand of weird could definitely apply for what you’re trying to do. I’m not saying make up a name to lie to your ex-wife about being a nanny, but making something bizarre and unique could be a formula to starting ideas from several different sources. It’s always interesting what you can combine together with two different items in your room that could make some thing that has never been fathomed before as a name or as anything in general.

There’s been some moments that I could not think of a character. I remember scratching my head to think of a name for a drag queen character for my second book and I remember thinking- this shouldn't be that hard, what gives? I wanted to make a name that was special and unique. All I had to do was look over at my bookshelves and see what catches. I would look at the names associated with the various characters from a certain series to brainstorm names. I would pair the character's name with another character's first or last name (sometimes even author names) or break it down into two different names by taking one name and separating it into two names.


There’s nothing worse than feeling convoluted in your own creativity. Not knowing what to start or what to finish. Whenever I write an article or an essay for Vocal, I always get a little bit anxious to figure out what can I get started or what can I produce right now. I have so many ideas going on and there are some that weren’t finished, so I never know exactly where to begin.

What helps me is to make an entire list not in any particular order. I take a highlighter and color in the box to indicate what I have to finish, but I will also highlight the title of what I would like to put out that week. And I try to make it in groups of three whether it be an article for vocal or I’m going to be using my creative focus to my own writing to see which parts of the creative criteria can I continue on. It gives me little goals per week, and does help me keep track of how long something has been on the list if I have remembered highlighting it every time I revise a list.

These pieces might be spoilers and these pieces might be scrapped but I’ll have to see if it ever comes to being created

It usually helps me keep track and not overwhelm myself to not attempt everything. It's good to have it creatively coded to see what I'll do next without the stress of not knowing where to start. I might end up finishing one or starting on I highlighted as a challenging interest. I might do something that wasn’t on my list that wasn’t highlighted as a priority or as a possible idea.

We never really know when creativity strikes. We all have our own method to our madness.

But I do hope that the list I made does help give clarity to getting a organized idea to begin to create chaos.

Samantha Parrish
Samantha Parrish
Read next: The Deception of Instagram
Samantha Parrish

I'm here to teach you something new or expand your mind in a neutral aspect.

Instagram: parrishpassages

Oh and I wrote a book called, Inglorious Ink.

See all posts by Samantha Parrish