A few weeks ago, I got into a bit of a….. we’ll call it a discussion…. with someone on Facebook. I won’t go into the details, but feelings were hurt, people picked sides, more feelings were hurt, and it became a HUGE thorn in my side.
I couldn’t write.
I was so distracted by the emotions of the issue, that when I sat down to write, all my brain wanted to do was write a litany of clever comebacks and points about how right I was and how everyone else needed to be ashamed for not being on my side. This was a problem. I was in the middle of writing a historical fiction piece for a teen magazine, something I hadn’t done before. I needed to be on my game. I had a deadline. I did not have time to be worrying about this stupid tiff and dang it I was right and how dare they not see my point of view and I should just write something on Facebook right now or I can just unfriend all of them and maybe I don’t want to even be associated with them anyway and and and….. yeah. THAT kind of distracted.
Honestly, it didn’t end for a few days. I’m not sure what happened, but late one night, something just clicked. It didn’t matter if I was right anymore, I just wanted the negative feelings and the distraction to end, so I took care of it. I sent it off into the internet abyss, and even when something else happened that could have blown the little dying embers of my indignance right back up again, I chose to ignore it. It was liberating.
I was talking to my husband about the whole thing, and he suggested, “Hey, you should write about that for your next blog post.” We talked about how things can distract us, not just the usual dishes and toddlers and carpools and laundry, but internal things that just block our ability to concentrate on the important things. I’m not even necessarily talking about writing, here. How often do little petty “tiffs” cause us to not be able to feel the Spirit? That person, you know, that person, gets up in testimony meeting to share what you are sure is going to be another travelogue or thankyoumony, and your inward eye rolling distracts you from an important message the Lord would have you hear.
Or the worrying about the mortgage distracts you from seeing service opportunities, or missionary opportunities. The argument you had with your teenager distracts you from seeing more than all the “and it came to pass” and “verily” in your scripture study.
Or, sitting at your desk and trying desperately to finish an article about chiropractic care for infants so that you can try and get an assignment writing for decent pay, distracts you from holding your little one, who just really wants to show mommy how awesome this banana is and maybe put some in your number pad for you.
That last one may have been a true story.
The point is, in life, and in writing, we have things that distract us from what is important. I have a friend who talks about “blocked energy” which sounds like a silly new-agey thing, but in a way, it’s totally true—if we let things block us, they stop us. We have to figure out how to move the roadblock out of the way, whether it is a favorite sin, our Facebook addiction (guilty), or whatever our own personal “energy block” is. For me, it meant apologizing and eating crow (no BBQ sauce or anything), and honestly putting it away. There are a million other little things distracting me, like self-esteem demons, taking on too many things without doing well at any of them, sleep, stupid freakin’ Facebook, the list goes on. Little by little, I will clear these energy blocks. I will obliterate these distractions.
I. Will. Write.
So what about you? What’s YOUR favorite distraction?