It's like any sort of exercise, you improve with practice. My regular writing sessions with leogrl19 honed this ability to focus and, even when interrupted for a time, I could generally get back into the 'zone' in a fairly prompt manner. Since my father's passing in January I've realised how precious that ability truly is.
I took for granted how fluidly I could come and go from the author side of my brain. I took a break from writing while getting my papa's affairs sorted. About two weeks later, I tried returning to my craft. While I could still string sentences together and construct reasonable paragraphs, details were scattered. I was inclined to skim over situations that required deeper engagement where once I would have embraced them. In short, my writing was lacking.
While a portion of this can certainly be attributed to my brain being riddled with more thoughts than before, the far greater contributor is my emotional state. Since losing my father I find myself lacking the emotional resilience I once possessed. I will be in a good mood and then a small, meaningless upset will send me into a fit of sadness or frustration.
Grief touches everyone differently. This is something I must come to terms with, and only time can assist with the process. I had no idea how fundamentally it would affect my creative process, yet I shouldn't be. My life has been irrevocably changed. I am not the same person now, so while I come to terms with the new reality so, too, is my writing in flux.
Thank you to those who have extended their condolences. Every one of them is sincerely appreciated.
May light and warmth illuminate all you do.