I used to be very good at getting obsessively focused on things. You know the type, where they would be so zoned into something you would almost have to whack them on the head in order to get them to even hear that you were talking to them. I was good at it. I would really get into all sorts of things, usually research subjects (you know, the important stuff like weather machines and cryptozoology), or books, or tv, or whatever.
I would become singularly obsessed until I was done with that item and move onto the next.
Over the years, I worked to make that better, as I found that some people don’t care to hear you talk about one single subject at length whenever they see you…especially if that subject is about the frequency of Nessie sightings at certain shores of Loch Ness during specific times of the year. For whatever reason, people like to have a wealth of topics to pull from…Oh, and my wife really really really would get bored with these subjects quickly.
I think I’ve done fairly well at expanding my horizons. Writing the way I do (meaning that there’s usually multiple books in active development at one time) means that I’m constantly researching a wide variety of topics just to ensure that whatever I’m writing has at least an air of authenticity.
But that’s where the problem really comes in. When I was focused, I could go over to research something and hop immediately back into writing, spending hours at a time focused on putting words to the page because my brain just wouldn’t shut down from whatever I was working on. Now…After about ten minutes, I’m thinking that I might need to consider taking a break, at least to look over to Facebook or check my sales, or …well..you know..snack food time, obviously.
I hate Facebook, I despise checking my sales, and from the twenty pounds I’ve gained over the last year, it’s quite obvious I need to step away from the snacks.
And the problem is…I really have no interest in these things. They’re purely distractions. Somehow I’ve gone from being a person who is singularly obsessed to someone who seems to have difficulty focusing on one thing for more than a few minutes at a time. Heck, I find myself wanting to take a break while reading books sometimes in order to see if anything’s happened on Facebook (which…spoiler alert…it hasn’t). I pick up my phone during TV just to press buttons on it, even if I’m completely engrossed in what I’m watching.
You might say that this is a win for the obsessed. I’ve overcome my addiction to obsession, but the fact of the matter is, I haven’t. My brain still goes a million miles a minute on whatever subject I’m obsessed by, I’ve just lost my ability to actually do something productive with that energy…at least not without a billion breaks in between productivity. It’s odd…I’d like to blame the internet or smart phones or facebook or how exciting it is when I finally make another sale, but the fact of the matter is…these aren’t truly to blame. At least, I don’t think so.
I mean, I remember the early days of the internet, or the precursors to the internet, when communication across computers first started hitting the personal computers of the world. I was addicted. I would spend hours and hours clogging up my parents’ phone line just so I could sit and tool around on someone else’s computer doing completely stupid things. And I wouldn’t really be doing much…I would sit on there and basically talk to the same people about the same things I would talk to them about on other computers. I had the same repeated conversations over and over again just because it was possible…and it was a way to connect with people. Quite similar to Facebook, to be honest.
This has been repeated over and over again through my history. However, there were two major differences between all those other times and today. First…my obsession was technology. I spent inordinate amounts of time around computers because I wanted to figure out how they worked, wanted to learn about what was coming, and all the nerdy stuff in between…today I find myself a little less interested, mostly because the changes in personal tech seem to be more of the distraction type than anything else…or at least that’s what they seem to be primarily used for. Second…I don’t actually do much for interacting on these things anymore. When I used to spend hours focused on these things, I would be talking, making new friends and all around being an active participant.
Now…I’m probably more akin to a stalker, not that I actually care about more of what I read as I scroll down my facebook wall..it’s an addiction, similar, but much different from an obsession. I don’t really care about looking at facebook, I do it because it’s what’s needed to be done.
Not that the blame is on Facebook, mind you…there’s still something fundamentally changed about my brain that causes me to need distraction from things I’m totally involved in…I don’t get it.
I’m trying to fix it, but I don’t get it.
Needless to say, writing seems to be more and more difficult as my brain seems to take on more of the persona of an ADD-addled one, ready to jump on whatever new activity comes by…or at least watch that next cat video (but only for a few seconds, because honestly, what more can that cat really be doing that he does in the first couple seconds).
Alright, time to get some writing done.
Well…after I check to see if anyone’s liked this post.
Oooh, I won’t if someone’s left me a new review!
I should probably google myself quick to see if anyone’s talking about my books…
Have fun out there!