Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Distraction

I think many bloggers are wannabe novelists. Or at least I am. I have a couple of novels in the works...both of which I've been working on for so long I can't even remember what the hell is going on. I like to think of myself as a writer, but I tend to lose interest too quickly, and then when I'm working on something, I'm always ashamed to be caught "writing". There's always so many other things I should be doing. Laundry, dinner, cleaning, work, homework, parenting, Facebook...

I feel guilty when I'm caught.
"Whatcha working on?"
I slam the computer shut.
"Nothing! I swear. I was just...looking at porn!"

If I'm getting paid, of course, it's different. (The guilt part anyway.) I've had several paying freelance jobs over the years where people actually gave me real money to write things for them. But even then I jump from one thing to the next. My steadiest job was writing copy about towns I had never seen for real estate brochures...but after a few years I was fired. Because I'm not really good with that whole "deadline" thing. I've written how-to articles on breastfeeding, ("You put that baby to your boob, and you feed the damn thing"), on the shelf life of spices (I've had spices in my cabinet for 15 years, so I'm probably not the best person for that), Polynesian culture (I was in Tahiti once, so I am an expert there), etc. Basically I produced articles that prove that information obtained through the internet cannot be trusted.
I'll be selling this antique on Ebay.
At one time, I wrote reviews for a local dinner theater and got paid in food. I was once a "haunted place expert" and contacted by a radio station to talk about ghosts for a Halloween show they were doing. I had to admit that I was a fraud, and convinced them that they didn't want me. But my crowning moment came when I won $200 in a Cracked.com photoplasty contest. Which didn't actually involve writing at all, but still my most impressive feat.

But my own stuff...I have a hard time justifying the time I should be dedicating to it. I manage to trudge through short stories now and then, but I've received enough rejection slips to wallpaper a room. Except they're usually through email, so I'd have to print them first, but then I could wallpaper a room. It's like being fired over and over again for a job you can't get in the first place. It's kind of depressing. I'm awesome at starting projects, but I don't seem to have the discipline to follow through. I took a test on my attention level once, and I scored 17 out of 100. I think that was lower than the squirrel! dog on the movie Up. I've heard that drinking water is supposed to improve your attention span, and wiggling your toes is also supposed to combat distraction. Seriously. I read that on the internet. So it's true. (And now you're wiggling your toes aren't you? Admit it.) Prioritizing and list making are supposed to be helpful, and maybe it would be if I didn't constantly lose the lists. Exercise, sleep...all supposed to help, but maybe I'm doing it wrong because it has yet to work. Any tricks to remain focused? Because I'm open to suggestion.

Just talk fast, before I lose interest.


2 comments:

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Surely this is a site well worth seeing.

Willoughby said...

I feel your pain! I've been writing the same stories for years and I never finish them. My biggest problem is that I edit them out of existence. Someday I'll actually finish one so that I, too, can wallpaper a room with rejection slips!!

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