WordPress, the patron of those of us who consented to be locked into writing something on our blogs everyday for 2011, suggests a range of tools that help prevent being disturbed while writing: Distraction Free Writing | The Daily Post at WordPress.com.
I confess my distractions are not of the nature described in the article – buzzes and tweets and visual clutter on the desktop, whether virtual or “real life”- this external clutter I can deal with (usually by just ignoring it). I’m more likely to stray from the task when a fleeting thought invites me to follow it through the labyrinthine caves of my right hemisphere, which is replete with other inviting thoughts and images – so that even my internal distractions are interrupted with more of their kind. This makes concentration a continuing challenge and it’s one of the reasons the daily post presents itself as a quest – an internal discipline that is different from the other task-oriented disciplines that my daily work calls from me.
Critically reading back over some recent posts I can see the results of the above described phenomena of chasing interrupted distractions. I can hear my Form 8 English teacher saying “Ryle, you’ve got to develop your ideas more and provide a proper ending!” Funny thing is, I seem to be able to attend to this need in the didactic and exhortational tasks I’m professionally trained for, but not when I’m in free fall.
On the other hand, some of my wild distractions have led to some amazing and instructive places which have turned out to be grist for the mill for other writing and presentation tasks! (And here I will finish, thus annoying my internal Form 8 teacher no end.)