Distraction as therapy

Distraction is a double edged sword.

Usually when I write about it, I’m lamenting my own inability to focus on a given subject or project. In fact, most of the time I’m distracted against my will (at the mercy of my fascination with reality and it’s ever-changing nature) and frustrated because I want to get something done.

Often I find that the distractions in my life are other people. On almost a daily basis (okay, that’s a stretch) I’m trying to write an article or a blog post or a story and my children or my husband start talking to me. They address me as if I can magically hear and respond to them while maintaining my train of thought and putting it into words. It can be devastating to a piece of writing, or become a minor interruption that I will forget as soon as they’ve moved on.

But there’s finally a flip side to distraction that I’ve been discovering lately. When you’re starting to feel like a failure, and you want to hang up your dreams and stop trying, distraction can come in many forms. All of them can end up saving you from the place you were starting to go.

My school situation was looking dire (three steps forward and two steps back = I’m still going to graduate school!) and I wasn’t writing much. I did post a few blogs during my downward spiral, but ultimately I was having trouble realizing my own ability.

Then I got a few nibbles of interest. Don’t get me wrong -I’m not signing a book deal or penning a regular column in a publication any time soon. Most of the writing I’ve been doing lately hasn’t even been paid. Still, a few articles and a review or sorts were just what I needed to start feeling like a writer again.

I’m still trucking along. Hopefully the writing will still come, and eventually the jobs will come with it. Either way -working at something I love has become a distraction I’m happy for. For once.

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3 thoughts on “Distraction as therapy

  1. I can absolutely relate to this post. Whether its writing or talking on the phone the kids just feel like its ok to walk right to mommy and start talking. Many times when I’m on the phone I have to stop and tell them, “Hey guys, this is a phone not a new earring!”

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  2. Why don’t you pick two personality types and try to write a short story involving them. For instance say a 17 year combat trained marine and a noviciate nun.

    Do you remember the scene in the movie Three weddings and a funeral? The best and saddist obituary scene I every heard. “Tell the moon never to come out again because Shamus is dead. Tell the sun to set forever…. Write your own obiturary and don’t make it glowing make it true. Mom

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