Distractions

Pencil

I finally gave up on rehearsing my presentation. Provided I can see my slides, I’ll be able to talk about them for 15 minutes, easy. The trouble will be trying to stay under 20! Anyhow, this week has been full of distractions. For lunch today, my wife and I popped down to the coffee shop in Palmer. I brought my notebook, and got to work. She commented that she couldn’t concentrate in a place like that – Too many distractions. It’s the best place for me though. Yeah, it’s full of distractions, but they’re all minor and not particularly engaging anyhow. A barista flitting by to wipe down a table, an elderly couple talking with their pastor about what’s going on in church this Sunday, the woman with too tight pants sauntering by to get her double tall quad-shot skinny late. It goes on like this for hours. This past fall I was stuck. For whatever reason, I couldn’t conjure the words to describe my way past the first few paragraphs on the second chapter of my sub-plot. My solution? Go to the coffee shop and break the jam. It worked, within a few hours, I had the entire chapter knocked out. It may have been rough, but it was there and something I could work with, and it felt good.

For me, the real distractions are work, home-life and TV. We don’t have cable, nor do we live in a place where broadcast is a realistic option, but we do have Netflix. It’s my wife’s one weakness. I don’t complain though, she needs it to wind down. We both do. The problem is that even when I really don’t care much for the show, I find myself distracted by the story-line unfolding in living color on the other side of the room. It would be easy enough to wander off to the sun room and quietly click-clack away, I do that sometimes, but I just can’t do it all the time. My wife and I work off-schedules so those two or three hours in the evening are all we get, well that and the exasperated glances over the children’s glacial routine each morning. If I don’t spend those few moments, we wouldn’t have any moments.

The past few weeks I’ve been in a bit of a rut with my current chapter, which happens to be the last chapter in the sub-plot. What I’d like to do is go to the coffee shop and spend the day with a cup and type a way, oblivious to the random happenings all around, but it’s just not possible at the moment. I suppose until I can make that a reality I’m going to continue to scratch out a sentence here and there in the cracks between responsibilities and family – and TV.


photo credit: Tapping a Pencil via photopin (license)

Nothing to do with writing.

Yesterday I work until about 7:30, with the idea that I would be able to cut two hours off of my workday, and spend at least one quiet hour in the sun room revising chapter 15. Of course, that’s just impossible. I’m sitting here about an hour and a half after my planned work day should have mostly ended, and I’m still fielding e-mails, shoving budget requests off until tomorrow, and thinking hard about my current problem. This problem is extra special. I WISH it were about writing. I’m sitting here staring at survey results and trying to decide if my model for estimating community income should be partially replaced with a boot-strapping approach. The sticking point is all of the various pieces of missing data. Anyhow. I’m not going to continue to bore anyone with this problem. No doubt I’ll crack my head against it for an entire day tomorrow and come up with a solution that I’ll feel good about. For now, my head is splitting, and my alarm to go get the kids from school just went off. I think all hopes of working on chapter 15 seem more or less dead for the day, and I managed to waste the only 5 minutes I had to do it, writing this blog. Oh well… Maybe tomorrow. I suppose I should focus on the important things in life: Did the children remember all of their homework, and what the hell do I cook for dinner?