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Monday, August 23, 2010

Distractions (and Ode to True Love)

As a writer, very few distractions plague me. I don't have children and I don't have any transportation (or anywhere to go) when my husband is at work. My husband does all the cleaning and most of the cooking. I don't even have a job other than writing. (Hire me! I'm dedicated and motivated and distraction-free!) I have a natural aversion to keeping the TV turned on, so it never beckons me unduly. Other media are very sexy, and can hold a certain fascination over me for a few hours a day if I'm not careful. I also have to take care of some huge organization projects (toss, sell, keep, store) because a move is looking more and more imminent.
"That's all?" you say indignantly. "In that case, why don't you have stacks of epic novels spread all around the house?"
I share your concern when I see that the exciting story I started a month ago... was last accessed a month ago.
The answer is that I love my husband more than anything. When we're together, there's complete sympathy and focus. If pleasure were the only motivator, I would choose my husband's company over any other option, and I think he would choose me, too. He works very hard to keep us in the precarious financial state we're in, and his hours are never the same from one day to the next anymore, so I would never want to begrudge him my full attention when he is with me.
Good writing requires good attention, and when my husband is at work, some part of my mind is always telling me I don't have enough time to accomplish anything before he gets back. If that kind of self-sabotage isn't a serious distraction, I don't know what is!
It could also explain why I've recently taken such a shine to microfiction. Most of the writing process of such pieces, for me, is the editing to make sure they are as laser-exact as they should be, and I can do that for a few minutes here, a few minutes there. And then, when they're published, the reader can enjoy them even more quickly. If they're good enough, they can be enjoyed again and again.
But as you can see, my distractions are all in the mind. If it's in the mind, it's not real. So today I pledge to work on that exciting story for at least one half hour. If I happen to get into the "zone," there are many more hours available until my handsome prince comes back to the castle. Stay tuned...