The passionate pen: Write like you mean it

Distractions are a part of life. Your grandma calls to thank you for her birthday card. Before you know it, you’re walking down memory lane. A car alarm goes off across the street, and it creates a chain reaction of howling dogs. Beautiful sunshine beckons while a fragrant lilac breeze glides in through the window.

That last one can create significant daydreaming.

While some distractions are nice, you have to be honest. Will they really help your writing? Interruptions can impact productivity in significant ways.

In my spare time I have been creating a new drawing. It’s been several months now, and I’m still not finished. Is it because I don’t like it? No. I love it. I’m proud of it. The problem is that like many people, I have fallen victim to distractions.

If I love what I’m doing, then why am I getting distracted? I could blame my sensitive ears. I could also blame my romance with nature. I’m not blaming others, so it’s fine. Right?

How about setting aside the blame and turning to acceptance? I should accept the fact that I have sensitive hearing. Unlike me, my husband never hears the crickets chirping outside the window or the loud music across the street. I should also accept that I have a powerful infatuation with nature. Frequent daydreams involve blue skies, crumbling stone walls, overflowing flower gardens and birds chirping in delight.

After acceptance comes modification. I know I possess certain traits; it’s what make me uniquely me. When I sit down to draw, write, doodle or construct, what’s the best course of action to keep my creativity flowing? Try, or modify, the following suggestions:

  1. Turn off the phone, and sign out of email. Social media is a blessing and a curse.
  2. Finish the necessary chores. You don’t really need to attack that exploding hall closet. It can wait.
  3. Have a snack to prevent tummy rumbles. If you get hungry, have lunch. Don’t skip lunch, but don’t make it last two hours.
  4. Avoid staring out at the window.
  5. If you can’t avoid the window, take a short break. After all, who doesn’t love a sunny day? Go for a 10-15 minute walk to clear your head and satisfy your fidgets.
  6. Focus on the task. Don’t visualize the finished product because that leads to daydreaming. Focus on the present. Your article is 50 percent done. Take a deep breath, re-read what you’ve written, and expand upon it. This also applies to art work.
  7. Take a yoga break. Tend to aching muscles, and clear out random thoughts in order to re-gain focus.
  8. Transfer that happy vibe, and channel it whenever your mind wanders.

A distracted mind is simply a creative mind in need of a guiding hand. Accept your traits, and learn from them. Modify. Focus. Create.

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