Friday, January 16, 2015


I have a problem with concentration, admittedly from the ADD that plagued my college years, caused  many a misstep after, and was unfortunately passed on to some of my children.  ADD has also affected my ability to write as much as I'd like, or for as long.  Dedicating yourself to writing for long stretches of time, pounding out a measured cadence of words that paces itself with your racing mind takes concentration and to an ADD sufferer, that is difficult.

Nevertheless there is a zone I fall into when constructing the story in my head.  At first I am very conscious of the physicality of the effort, ; the movement of fingers on the keyboard or pushing a pen across the paper.  I am conscious of my surroundings, particularly the movement of daily life around me.  After a time, different for every writer, I become detached - a thing of air that dances with the muse.  The words flow effortlessly as I surrender conscious control of my fingers.  As if awakening, the relationships among my created characters begin to grow as I struggle to maintain multiple, possibly alternative plot lines.  At the same time as this intensive creation occurs I feel a joy that is indescribable for those who do not write. I can  maintain this fugue state until something - anything - intrudes, the bubble of illusion vanishes, and the real world rushes in with all of its confusion.

The level of distraction needed to wrest me from the sublime state of creative passion is minimal, which is why I do not write in coffee shops, bars, restaurants, or anywhere something else is going on.  No, I sit alone in an otherwise dark room to minimize interruptions.  The possible intrusions are endless - hydraulic pressure forces me from the chair to the bathroom, the need for food (i.e. coffee) manifests itself, the damned cats insist on attention, or a unwelcome phone call, email, tweet, or FB chime assaults my ears.  Most miserably, it is a loved one who wants "just" a moment's attention.

After the interruption my creative reverie cannot be easily regained.  The skien of my earlier thoughts lie tangled and must be reassembled.  This restart process takes less time to achieve than before, but still I have to struggle to find that state once  more.  Worse is the sinking feeling that I might have lost a bit of detail, some idea that I had wanted to follow and whose trail is now lost forever.  Sometimes I can never get back, never reenter the fugue state, and never achieve that brilliant insight that was lurking in the shadows at the edge of realization.

I wish there was a solution.  Aside from getting rid of cats, phones, computers (bad idea), or my wife, is there some sacred place where I could create without being interrupted?


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