But it’s dream time. No really, it is. When you start the process of writing, pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, you drift into a hypnogogic state. No, I can’t say it but it’s what the book says and who am I to question it. Think about it this way. You set the mood in the room, candles, music, perfect lighting. Ahhhh…then you sit down to write. After a few minutes you no longer hear the music you chose or see the flickering of the candles because you have drifted into the story you are writing. You are walking down the stairs you created and into the rooms of your design. You’re not asleep but you most certainly are dreaming. At least, daydreaming.
Snap out of it! Hi, how ya doin’ today? Me, oh, I have my coffee, dogs wrapped around my feet and a hand full of walnuts, so I can’t complain. Are you ready to read along today? I know this one is a little late, but I was up late working on my masterpiece. I was frosting a very lovely cake- so sue me. Geesh. It’s gonna be yummy. Okay friends, find your copy of Around the Writer’s Block by Rosanne Bane, fill your cuppa with super powered GO juice, grab a nibble or two and meet me on page 106. I’ll be the one wearing the Mischief Managed t-shirt. See me? HI.
Some days drifting into your self-created world is easy while other times it is a mountainous trek through the thick forest that wasn’t in your story to begin with. It is an even harder journey when we become distracted with things that buzz, chime, pop, and vibrate. In Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age by Maggie Jackson, warns that these constant interruptions are a detriment to creativity at large and simply create more stress and frustration in the world. It is difficult to have moments of clear thought when it is constantly interrupted by a Tweet or a Facebook like.
Gadgets aren’t bad. They have created many opportunities in the advancement of connections and education. But we have also created a culture that has become solely focused on the bright lights and enchanting sounds of something that can fit in your pocket. I have watched parents shove their phones into the greedy hands of a toddler as a form of babysitting. That little one should be forming imaginary games to play and silly characters to play them with. Instead, we have taken away the creative outlet because we don’t want to be interrupted from our own scrolling online.
We have become a community of distracted people. We are constantly disregarding the people and activities before us for the chime in our hands. We will quickly pick up our phones and interrupt or disregard the conversation around us to see who and what meme was posted online. How can you be a creative thinker if you have no time to think?
This trips elegantly into the next topic of multitasking. If you can be creative and distracted how can you be productive when trying to figure out three steps ahead in three different projects. Something is going to fall away. Your cortex, yes, that part of your brain, is wired to do one thing at a time. If all the tasks you are doing requires the full attention of your cortex you can only do one of them well. It’s like doing one thing with your left hand and something else with your right. Let’s go with frosting two cakes at the same time. The cake where your dominant hand is doing the work will look far better than your less dominant hand- BUT- neither will be done well because you split your focus.
People who claim they can multitask well are lying to you. You can multitask small things in your daily life and do fine- putting on makeup and talking on the phone set on speaker. Add to that eating a breakfast burrito, driving, and trying to change the radio station, something is going to go wrong. When you want and need something done well, it needs to be your sole focus.