IWSG Post IV: Is it Distraction, or Potential Inspiration?
[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]
Distractions press in around us. Look up from wherever you are, and you might spy a couple of them within extremely close range: a cell phone, a pad of paper, or depending on your location, a really great puddle of rain water to jump in.
I think of distractions during my full day job; passing conversation, a radio at work, even another idea stacked on top of a pretty hefty tower of existing responsibilities. Distractions are everywhere and at anytime, and right now I’m wondering if some distractions might actually be good things?
I admit. I have been quite the slacker lately with a plethora of distractions pressing into my daily routines. It’s been months since I’ve revisited my reflections on Boston and still, there is no part II. I’m also *cringing as I stare at my computer monitor* still four chapters out from the end of my manuscript.
I do believe in really great distractions. The problem for me, is when time builds and a day passes, then another, then my mind gets straight out of my book. Sometimes, I do like to take a lovely walk in the woods. To smell the trees and the earth, and to let the sunshine tickle my cheeks. It’s hard to come back. Sometimes my muscles help me out when they start to shake, or I find my fingers and hands and nose are chilled by the wind.
So then what?
I think we have to be ready for a shift in focus. Even when some distractions seem good and may actually help us find some distance from our thoughts when, if you’re like me, you might over-think.
My shift happened during a funny conversation last week with my friend Becky. We were problem-solving questions about her manuscript and characters when life slipped into our discussion and we found ourselves talking about her trip to South Carolina, straight to the swamps. I laughed out-loud. The word swamp always makes me laugh when I’m with her. It has to do with my trip to Boston and the adventure we shared together with my fiancé Dave on a fun quest through Salem to find a particular tarot card reader. We did find him and the advice we received was more detailed than we imagined. I’ll have to share more about this adventure in a Boston part II post, but in any case, I mentioned to her in our phone conversation how she might want to carry a big stick.
The point? I think we helped each other out of our ruts. And in thinking about getting back to deadlines I’d promised myself, I have four tips I recently experienced.
First, start with something you care about. Maybe a favorite song, cooking your favorite dish, a good friend who doesn’t mind throwing around fun and limitless ideas; or a pen, pastels, anything to get your hand moving across a piece of paper. The important goal is to let the mind wander where it just won’t go on its own.
Next, turn to your subject; your writing or current passion you’re working to achieve. Write out the what-ifs and how they apply to the goal, your story or something else. I work best when I think out-loud. Committing my thoughts with a pen to paper also stimulates more neurons in my brain than typing them out on a computer screen.
Lastly, after you set some sort of goal or deadline for yourself, there is one last pointed tip in the form of a quote to consider:
“Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen.” ~Johan Wolfgang von Goethe.
And I believe that truth with my whole heart 🙂
My question to you: What is your number one source of inspiration?
I’d love to hear it.
Before I end this post, I need to say thank you to the January IWSG hosts. So thank you L.G., Denise, Sheri, J.Q., Chemist Ken and Michelle. I truly appreciate the time you’ve committed to making this group so successful.
L.G. Keltner lgkeltner.blogspot.com
Denise Covey dencovey.blogspot.com
Sheri Larsen www.salarsenbooks.com
J.Q. Rose www.jqrose.com/
Chemist Ken hogwartssabbatical.blogspot.com
Michelle Wallace www.writer-in-transit.co.za