Monday, July 12, 2010

When You Put Your Butt in the Chair, Make Sure Your Head Stays With It

Let's talk about distractions, m-kay? You always said you'd write if you had enough time. You decided to make the time. You cleared off a little table, corner, closet, milk crate and got out your paper, pencil, iPad, chisel and stone, computer, and started to write.

You did very well at first. You thought, this is what I've always wanted to do. You should a piece to a friend. He laughed in all the right places and looked thoughtful toward the end. I'm good at this, you thought. You sat back down and picked up your pencil, stylus, mouse.

And then you got caught up in the news on the oil spill, or pictures of your ex-girlfriend looking fat and happy with her new boyfriend even though he had less hair than you and his eyes were too close together, or you spent twenty frenetic minutes participating in the #movieswithbatman frenzy on twitter (and by "you", I mean "I").

Making the time is the first step. Putting you bum in the chair is the second. Focusing is the third and most difficult. Things will require your attention, things like infants with hunger and significant others with problems at work, and friends who found a new place with dollar beers and slices. Now, you have to feed the baby. And change it, too. But what else do you have to do?

Will the world start spinning in new and beautiful ways, and I'll be the only one not to know about it, as soon as I finish this post and click off my wireless connection? Presumably, no. Will I fail my word count and lifetime goals if I allow myself to peruse the web and chat constantly? Yes.

My advice? While your butt may obediently sit in the chair, make sure your brain knows its job, too.

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