Distracted Writing Awareness

Now he would never write the things that he had saved to write until he knew enough to write them well. Well, he would not have failed to fail at trying to write them either. Maybe you could never write them, and that was why you put them off and delayed the starting. Well he would never know, now.

The Snows of Kilimanjaro
Ernest Hemingway

We are on day 167 of 15 days to slow the spread.

Not only that, the CDC has quietly updated their COVID numbers to admit that 6% of the 153,504 (9,210) of the recorded deaths actually died directly from COVID. The remaining 94% had other serious illnesses, and the overwhelming majority were of advanced age.

That doesn’t mean COVID isn’t serious. It does mean we’ve overreacted when we should have been working to protect the most vulnerable among us and not destroying our economy.

But, that’s not what this post is about.

I promise there will come a time when I stop talking about our week at the beach. It will roughly be when

Mug Shots
(click the pic)

we’ve secured a reservation for next summer and I can start looking forward to that week.

I always look forward to spending time on the beach just to let the waves and the salt air clear my head, allowing me to organize and prioritize all the many projects I’ve got going.

Sometimes, it allows me to weed out some projects.

Last week was just like that.

In fact, I could say that it was just what the doctor ordered it if the doctor would order it and insurance would pay for it as preventive care.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my home office. But, after 47 years of house arrest, I needed a change of venue.

I did get in a significant amount of reading, but most of my time was thinking about writing and how I want to be doing more of it, and doing a better job of that.

In a sense it was reaffirmation. I am, at heart, at calling, a writer.

That’s what I should be doing most.

Life comes with distractions, not only the requirements of the day job, the house, the livestock, and more.

Let’s not even talk about what a distraction the news cycle has been in 2020.

All of those pull away from the task that should be at hand.

I should be writing.

The chance to pause and just to sit and think, or not think, for a week helped to put things back in perspective. It helped to remind me what the priorities are.

I didn’t hurt to feel the ocean breeze and hear the waves crashing on the shore.

I know that until the next time I’m able to get away those other distractions are going to try to keep me from writing.

The challenge is not to ignore them, that’s just not reality. Instead, I need to work to keep them in their proper place.

That’s pretty much the challenge we all face, whatever our calling.

Perhaps one of the benefits, if there are benefits, of our 47 years of house arrest, is that we’ll be able to reevaluate what really is important in our lives.

A lot of things that consumed our time and our resources just aren’t available to us right now. I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing.

Maybe, just maybe, when we really do get to start reopening, we’ll be able to say “I don’t need those things,” or “I don’t need that project,” or simply, “I don’t need that distraction.”

I hope that a year from now I can look back on this post and say that I did a better job of managing the distractions, a better job at being a writer.

Maybe I’ll even say it from the comfort of a beach chair.


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