So… It’s late and I’m up… Posting. And there are a ton of words in my head and a ton of thoughts and I can’t keep anything straight. I’m sure you guys know what I’m talking about; it’s one of those nights. So what can I say? I came here intending to write a post on inspiration but in light of how the night’s going, I’ve come up with a more suitable topic.
Distraction. What is it? One definition states it as: “A thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.” But actually it’s that noise I heard fifteen minutes ago and spent ten minutes trying to figure out if it came from my room or Lisa’s. It’s me finally getting up and checking what that noise is. Then it’s me coming back to write and then deciding that I’m actually hungry and then looking for something to scoop out food with and realising that there’s only one clean fork not that I can scoop food with it but I’ll sure as hell try. In the end, it’s me just falling into a sequence of actions and loosing track of my goal. This is a most annoying occurrence when one is writing. Or posting.
I don’t know if you realised by now but I’m not talking about distractions by themselves. They are a crucial part of today’s topic but it’s not the whole of it. What I want to talk about is taking distraction(s) and getting a result out of them. I’ll give you a real life example.
On Monday, I sat skimming through my twitter feed instead of concentrating on the situation at hand because there was kind of nothing to do. So I sat there, and I let my hands wander over to my phone and scrolling through and I found a link to a site with an interesting article. Then I found another and another. I probably spent at least an hour reading articles on my phone and closing them to make space for new ones. Eventually, I came across some prompts and some writing contests and I decided to check them out because technically I was supposed to be thinking about writing my story but that didn’t go so well. So to justify my actions I decided to check them out and see if anything sparked my writing juices.
And something did! I ended up on Lauren Oliver’s site where she was talking about some monthly contest she had and there was obviously a prompt with a beginning sentence everyone had to use and I read a couple and got that little flurry of comradery whilst I read the writings of other writers and I thought: Could I use this? Not their work obviously. But the prompt idea. Could I find or possibly even create a prompt and as I write, write about my story? It wouldn’t even have to be a planned scene from my story. I could use whatever I produce whilst using the prompt as an exercise in character development, descriptions or setting a tone. I could make it work for me.
Don’t roll your eyes and say that you’re never going to use a prompt or whatever. You’re completely missing the point. Have you ever lost hours to youtube or deviantart or gardening or something or the other when you know you should be writing? Change the tides! Turn that distraction to your advantage! On youtube find a really cool song or a really cool video and watch it and feel the inspiration. On deviantart? Look at some of those pics. I can’t help but feel inspired. Gardening? Do you love the smell of the dirt, the feel of the mud between your fingers? Use that! Write about it! Weave it in! That way it’s not like you’re really leaving your distraction behind. Instead, you’re embracing it so much that you pull it into your writing.
Now I know you’re saying, how can she possibly get a writing exercise out of this one? My answer? Don’t underestimate me. I can do a lot. Just watch me.
Writing Exercise 7:
So go find a prompt (just google it, they’re everywhere) or make one up. Or go onto youtube and find a nice video, I’m partial to Extraterrestrial. Or go find a beautiful image somewhere. Now take it in. And write something from it. Something should inspire you. Be it the colour or the movements in the video or the music set a tone that you must write the fitting tale for. Maybe the prompt will act as the seal that broke the dam of your writing. Then write at least 1000 words on it. On something related to a story/ poem you’ve been working on. For the poem writers… I guess it could be shorter than 1000 words. I can understand concerns.
What I’m saying is that distraction don’t have to be as bad as we make them out to be. I’m sure you’ve all heard that we’re the makers of our destiny. Well, we’re also the makers of our writing. We can’t let funny videos or quirky posts or cute pictures make us forget what we set out to do. Let’s take up our own initiative. I want to write and eventually I’d like to get published. I can’t accomplish this if I act as if I’m a grain of sand being manipulated by the whims of the current. No! I must be like the mighty dolphin! I will make my own path. I will take my own routes. I refuse to be preoccupied with fish when there are sailors who need saving and adventures for the having. I will take those distractions and I will turn them to my advantage. They will not bring me down.
Now after that little bit of crazy, I’d like to apologise for the lack of images. Lisa has been so kind as to lend me her laptop and I don’t feel comfortable downloading stuff on it. Also I’d like to bring your attention to the fact that on Friday we’ll have a new sort of post going up as I’m doing away with our weekly summaries. As someone commented: “It’s Friday, it kind of needs to go out with a bang… not a flop.” So flop, it shall not. Now I’m going to bed. Night all.
Sweet dreams even if it is Wednesday morning,
K, the Popinjay.