Monkey Mind

It’s amazing the things that I’ll come up with to distract myself from writing (take this blog post, for instance). Earlier, I caught myself looking at my arms and wondering if my biceps were the same size. I’ll suddenly remember a picture that I just have to send to someone right that moment. The most insidious distraction is when I’m working on a piece when suddenly inspiration strikes… for a different piece. With several series in the works, this can be very compelling.

That is when a different kind of discipline comes in. It’s one thing to get yourself into the chair to write. It’s another thing to focus and work toward the completion of a piece, any piece, especially when all your deadlines are self-assigned. I practice writing drills to help me stay on task and for the day when I have an editor, making deadlines a much less flexible thing. When the voices of different characters, different worlds, start to compete, I jot down notes with brief descriptions and maybe snippets of description or dialogue if it’s just too good to let drift away. If I’m not in a place or at a time when I can do that, I just have to let it go.

In the end, art is ephemeral. That is part of what makes it precious.


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