08 May 2012


When I was a kid, I could suck on a piece of candy until to melted down to the tiniest sliver before it disappeared. I could sit in a room full of adults and listen to the conversation—not saying a word. I could perform the same action over and over and over again and never get bored. I think I watched Disney's Robin Hood about a thousand times after we recorded it off TV.

Now that I'm “all grown up”, I find that my attention span has somewhat diminished. Candy gets inhaled as my fingers reach for another. I find I feel compelled to interject into every conversation that I hear. Doing anything more than once (especially at work) makes me really cranky, and while I can still watch the same movie over and over, I find myself fidgeting and thinking about all of the other things I should be doing.

Is there such a thing as adult onset ADD? Or adult onset dyslexia—I've got that too.

One great thing about going to the dojo is that while I'm there, I'm there. I turn off my phone and toss it in the bottom of my bag. The worries and stress of real life is quickly chased away, replaced by concentrating on “kick, punch, punch” not “punch, kick, punch”. Or both. Even if I've had a horrible day, and I came in raging mad about whatever happened earlier, five minutes into my workout, I'm distracted. Focused on 'where I am and what I am doing'. It's not good to lose focus when someone might be coming at you with a knife, or punching you in the face. Not good at all.

Writing can be the same way. If I get the chance to settle down into my story, I forget about everything else. My focus shifts to this imaginary world I've created and the problems of the characters that live there. (Does anyone else wonder if all writers are a bit loony?) I can pretty much write anywhere, but to make myself most effective, I just have to put on a pair of headphones.

Yup, just put them on. There doesn't even have to be music playing through them. Yes, I forget that step far more often then I care to admit. But I put them on and I'm in the groove.

Unless a shiny object presents itself to me. A nice sparkly can even override the dojo focus. What can I say? Shiny is good.

Morale of the ramblings—find your focus. And put all of the shiny stuff in another room.

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