distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

Focus Focus Focus (What Was I Talking About Again?)

A glimpse at my page this morning follows. What started as a conversation with myself about what I wanted to do with a certain chapter—it helps me build up momentum into writing, at least usually—turned into this. I am ashamed:

…But if I just focus on this one small thing, it could help, it could, I DO NOT WANT TO GIVE UP ON IT, for serious, so yes anything that will motivate me deeper into this is good. What? What was I talking about? Just keep typing. Keep. Typing. You are on the rooftop now, the character, she’s about to—you know what, I must say that it is entirely too gross what the man next to me is doing in public. It is some weird obsessive compulsive disorder involving putting some kind of antibiotic ointment from a small tube all over his fingers, layering, layering, over and over, sliming them up. Ten minutes now of this. Then he eats. Now he has begun to eat. How is it possible for me to write in a public place like this? I also must mention the construction going on directly outside the window. I am sitting in the table farthest from the window, but out through the glass I can still see the smoke and dust as they tear apart the sidewalk. Every so often the enormous grinding noise of the machines. Oh, the man is eating chicken now. Strips of breaded chicken. Why would someone do such a thing so early in the morning? And aren’t his fingers slippery enough already? I must not look at the man. I must focus on what I am here to do, my writing, my scarce choice hours of writing for the day. That is much more important than chicken or fingers or the gutting of the sidewalk outside. (But when the door opens the construction noise is so much louder.) Hey, did you know that there is some kind of communal writing spree going on in New York City this coming June? Really. Or something like it anyway. Remember that postcard in the mail, dope. It was red. You sign up, though I think it’s free, and you write all day with other writers. Are there workshops, too? Maybe. I can’t remember. Where did I put that postcard. And would I even want to sign up, I mean I am shy enough as it is, but the idea of writing among other actual writers—rather than this man who is now sucking on his fingers… please help me, please I can see him out of the corner of my eye, I am putting my hair in front of my face, I am in need of a hat. A hat! Why do people no longer wear hats! Like in the twenties, with a veil over my face, how awesome would that be, I should get one, not that it would go with my sloppy outfit of the day, all wrinkled, I am triple-wrinkled, and worse I am procrastinating. Write. Write something. This does not count. No one is going to eat chicken in this novel, I’ve just decided, I am too grossed out, also my character will wear a hat. She’s on the rooftop now. She’s cold. I’m sort of cold right now, too. Why did I think it was warm enough for short sleeves today? SHUT UP. I am talking about a character here, not myself. Rooftop, no chickens in sight. She’s cold. Okay, diving back in now, wish we luck…

My god. Please save me from myself. It’s a wonder I get any writing done.


3 responses to “Focus Focus Focus (What Was I Talking About Again?)”

  1. Don’t be ashamed! That’s awesome. It’s a total mind purge before delving into the world and characters you created. If I did something like that before writing it would probably help keep me from breaking off in the middle of a scene to wikipedia about the potential eruptivesupervolcano under yellowstone park. I seriously need to get those thoughts out of my head BEFORE I start writing, I’m telling you.

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