11 November 2019

Distracted Like a Pinball Machine

I decided to write this during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, AKA November). I'm meant to be knuckling down on the fourth Wolflock Cases book. If you’re reading this before the fourth book has been released, I apologise from my guilty heart. I can only offer the excuse that I have been “distracted”.


Yep. Distracted. That’s it. That’s all I have.


I’m seen as one of the most laser focused people that other people know. People ask me often how I get so much done. I was taken aback when my cousin said it to me. I’m used to my outer circle doing it.


“Gee, Rhiannon! How do you write so much?”


“Golly gosh, Miss Rhi! You wear so many hats.”


“Holy crap woman! Slow down!”


“I know you’re super busy but…”


Truth is, you’re seeing my highlight reel. You see my successes, and only when I’m at my absolute worst and desperate do you see through the cracks. That’s social media though. For every “perfect” happy life you see people leading, there are crunchy sleep in the eyes, worn skin, no undie Mondie, eating leftover pizza and mismatched coffee ingredient off days. They aren’t even off days! They’re human days.


I’m sitting here right now being human. I weighed myself and I’ve gained three kilos because I ate crap since I left hospital for an abscess in my groin (ingrown hair and sweaty yoga pants… Kill me now). My dog got her first period (She’s a little lady now! Proud dog mumma) and I’ve been wiping up blood drops from the floor because I don’t want her outside in the heat and smoke. The world's on literal fire and I feel bad because I upset a woman by reposting something mean (that I felt was just brutally honest) about baby boomers. I feel guilty because I upset her, and I also feel like I let down my generation because I didn’t stand up for myself.


I’m wearing a singlet, no bra, no make-up, a sarong and no undies because I’m still sporting an open wound that can’t be covered for fear of reinfection. And on top of that every woman in my house has PMS and I feel guilty for having a low tolerance for mess or untidiness from my darling stressed out boyfriend.


But the thing is, I’m still going to do my best to write today. Wolflock isn’t speaking to me, so I thought I’d write this post to warm up my writing brain. It’s 2:22pm and I’ve been trying to write since 10am. I’m a clever cookie, you’d think I’d have started this post at 10:30am when the juices just weren’t flowing.


I was distracted. Laundry, tidying, resorting my cluttered desk (photo of resorted desk below), repositioning posters, stickers, paperwork and then I decided to write up a plan for my social media. I have THREE PAGES AND TWO GROUPS! That’s FIVE different things I have to make a plan for and organise the posting schedule for. Fuck my head…


But I knew I was draining myself while I was doing it. Organising, sorting and sticking to a schedule is like a workout for me. I love the effects, I love the strength it gives me, but heck does it drain me. By the end of a good workout you should feel buggered right? I know I do. Good buggered. Satisfied. Like after great sex or a day at the beach.


But that’s just it. I was self-sabotaging. I didn’t NEED to do any of that. I know I should have avoided it until my creative energy was tired out this afternoon, but I did it anyway. I hear my good friend Lisa King (Check out her books) in my ear saying, “You started the day with masculine energy tasks, and it exhausted your feminine creative energy”.


She’s right. Esoteric, magical and symbolic, but dead right.


Then I had my partner upset because his email wasn’t working, and he had to call up the email company to fix it and they gave him a dumb answer. I’m normally the phone and email warrior for my household, but I had sat down to write. So, damn it, I was gonna write!


91 words. For 4 hours I wrote 91 words.


Now I’m sneezing like a cat allergy in an RSPCA shelter. I’m allergic to work, I swear.


It’s kinda true.


You try and get me to “work” in the expected form of the word and I will resist. I’ll burn out, I slump along, I’ll try every which way to change it up. Daily monotonous, unappreciated tasks are death to me. But the thing is, I know me. I have done a hell of a lot of self-analysis and self-discovery. I dig that stuff. I use it daily. So, I know me, and I’ll keep getting to know me and my changes through my life. Self-awareness sets you free.


I mean that. I know I can’t “work” and be happy. I can play and be very happy. The “play” may look like “work”, but if I can make a game out of it, I’m happy. A sprinkle of healthy competition and you’re on like Donkey Kong! Everything is a game to me. Everything has a pattern. Figuring out the pattern is part of the game. My pattern this morning went like this:


I don’t want to write Wolflock today.


My desk is messy and not comfortable. I shall change the desk and then I will want to write.


I will just answer these notifications and then I’ll be ready.


I’ll just hang out the washing and then I’ll be ready.


“Babe, do you want breakfast? I’ll write when I’m done with food.”


Dog makes a mess. Better clean it up. Then I’ll start writing.


Ok. Pomodoro technique…. But I have to find the right music.


*Two hours later*


Shit… I don’t want to write.


Then I realised that I needed to write something. Anything to get me started. So, I wrote this blog. This thousand and something word blog in fifteen minutes.


In this age of distraction, notifications, “should”s, and doing shit we don’t want to do, I stay laser focused by doing what I want to do.


I really want to systematically sort my filing for an hour, reorganise and polish my desk to clear the Feng Shui. Maybe I'll write a blog post about how I might get so much stuff done because I have a secret weapons grade ADD (Just watch me when I’m unawares and see how I fidget. I swear if you hear my thoughts you’d think “whoa. Hundred miles an hour stuttering thoughts? Am I watching a bad trip on a skipping DVD?”).


I stay focused because I find enjoyment in the tasks I want (not need) to do to grow my business. I stay focused because my office is filled with the reasons why I want to write fulltime. If there’s a task I can’t muster the energy to do or know that the mere thought exhausts me I get someone else to do it. Pay them with food, a good referral, an acupuncture treatment or just cash. I appreciate it so damn much. Someone will always love doing the work you hate. If you don’t know anyone in that category, you need to widen your circle.


When I get tired of a task, a story, a project, I don’t just drop it. I don’t forget it. I have the whole thing documented, lined out and planned, so I can pick it back up at any moment. But I will pin it up on the “Save this for later” line while I bounce to the next shiny thing. Maybe that’s the difference between me and authors who don’t get things done. I require a sense of completion to get my dopamine hit, so that unfinished project will nag me until it’s done. Even recently I’ve been going back and rewriting/finishing stories I wrote when I was 14. I need the task to be done. Like… proper done, before I’m able to release it into the wild.


So, in my truest form, I’ve just had another idea for a blog post. I’m going to wrap this one up and write that one because when you’re in the middle of a pinball game there is no pause button. There is certainly no pause button for my brain.

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