Focusing Through Distraction

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Missing it.

I’ve definitely written about this before. Yet I’ve seen Denzel Washington talk about the exact same discussion points on technology that’re being discussed in my classes, and I find solace in knowing this isn’t some College-level talking point. He says, on at least two interviews, what do you do with too much information?

I am a writer. I write. This semester has been intense and leaves me little time to breathe deep, so as per how I live my life, my writing priority is fourth under schoolwork, making food, and staving off insanity by staring at political insanity. Apologies for not being around much. I’m learning about rhetoric, learning about sociolinguistics, and online publishing.

I’m also pursuing grad school admission. Deadline March 1.

Neither here nor there. So how does one separate writing from staring obliquely at a Twitter feed or numbly down lists of Facebook posts peppered with baby and dog pics and the occasional “WTF IS GOING ON IN AMERICA” post? Create habits.

I won’t put my Facebook away. But I can peruse on my phone. In fact, I am in the habit of studying those little newsfeeds-in-brief on my smart phone. Then when it comes time to writing on the computer, I walk into another room (even if I have a laptop) and leave the phone behind. My phone is my place for “feeds,” unless they are writing related. My WordPress feed is where I read all your beautiful works at the computer. I can’t do you justice on a phone.

By separating the two forms of technology, I’m no longer intense on staring at political updates and friends selling cars posts. I leave it for another room, and therefore another time. I also put my phone on vibrate and leave it on a pillow or couch cushion, usually, because I can pick up when someone texts or I get an update. I’m not addicted to my phone. I swears on the precious. Which is my phone.

My schedule for writing, when I find time, is to sit down with a small piece of food–carrot or apple with peanut butter today, hummus and Triscuit on others–and a clear desk. If I feel the need to find inspiration, I leave the room and read, or research something, or whatever. The only things I use on my computer are primary and secondary sources for writing.

Word, Pages, Scrivener, iTunes, Writer’s Market, WordPress app/blog, and once in a while I hunt down pictures for references.

Keeping this focus strict means I can throw down on my work and get some serious writing done without a thousand little stops to check on sports scores and whether 45 dropped a nuke yet.

May all your novels get finished with much success.

Chris

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