Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Writing (NOT) While Distracted

I've been horribly distracted for the past few weeks with preparations for the kids to begin school (and why schools not open until after Labor Day, I don't know), the endless shopping (even though I really love all new notebooks and pens and pencils but really, enough is enough), and then as soon as I thought we were getting settled into a new school routine (Dagny finally changed her work schedule so that she's not working school nights) Harvey arrived, and soon after, Irma. I have family and friends in both Texas and Florida, so it's been unsettling to say the least. And we also had to made some preparations in case Irma came up the FL/GA coastline as Matthew did last year. 

It used to be that I could put things in a box and get on with what I need to do but Harvey changed that. I checked the news incessantly as if I could change anything just by knowing how bad (or good) things were. I discovered that on the days when I didn't turn on the TV, I was much more at peace. I turned to God in my anxiety, placing the people I worried about in His care. I turned to the blessed Mother, trusting her to dispense the graces wherever they're needed. Watching TV made me very, very anxious. It's a good thing we're not in the habit. Until now, I didn't even turn on the TV.  

Today I'm finally returning to my usual routine and I've had to fight the urge to find more news than the updates given from the Ave Maria website. Honestly, reading the President's words have been a balm, contrary to the frenzy depicted in the secular media. All is going to be well. Americans are a hardy lot. God is with us and together we will rebuild our communities.   My trusty Mont Blanc of over 20 years is finally repaired and what a pleasure it is to sit out on the porch again and scribble. I no longer have to worry my inky fingers staining white shirts and blouses. The garden is finished for this year. I can't believe how many cucumbers we ate. My freezer is filled with hot chili peppers. We couldn't consume them as fast they grew. They're so good in the curries, though my last batch turned out extremely HOT. Whew! I had to slug a few sips of heavy cream to cool the fire in my mouth. The animals are relaxed and taking over the household. And thank God I'm writing again.

Things I've learned: Write even if the thoughts are jumbled. Go for a walk. Write crap. Pray the rosary. Read good books. Pray Divine Mercy. Write some more. Make a list. Go to confession. Trust in the Lord. He is the Lord of everything, including hurricanes. Let yourself be comforted like a little child. And don't turn on the TV.

Tell me, how do you write while distracted? Better yet, how do you get rid of the distractions?

Amazing how quickly the yard dried out. This is high tide + storm surge = 10 ft of water.


Mirka Breen said...

As my grandma used to say, "it's always SOMETHING."
I enjoyed the photos you posted, as always.

Faith E. Hough said...

So glad you're all safe!
I simply can't watch TV or even read the news, or my life falls to pieces. I rely on close family and friends to keep me updated about what's really important--without all the media clickbait and sensationalism getting in the way.
Fountain pens are a good way to slow down and focus. :)

Vijaya said...

Mirka, so true. There's always something. I wonder if writing is somehow more procrastination-prone than other creative endeavors. I've never experienced so much resistance as I do with writing and it's what I love best.

Faith, you are smart to rely upon others for the important news. I could smack myself for letting myself getting myself so off-kilter. And yes, writing with a nice fountain pen is one of life's little pleasures.

Mirka Breen said...

I doubt writing per se is more prone to procrastination, Vijaya. I think it is anything where the deadline is self-imposed and not coming from the outside. The ultimate self-navigation comes when only you and G-d know what you have set out to do and by what time.

Vijaya said...

Right, real deadlines vs. self-imposed ones. I don't dither when I have to learn a new song or cook a meal. But I knew I had a bad case of procrastination when I decided to clean an already clean bathroom. I think I'm over the hump but we'll see. I'm going to shift to handwriting for a little while until I get my bearings. The temptation to delete everything I write is too strong.

Barbara Etlin said...

Do you experiment with different coloured inks? I used to work in a pen store and the fountain pen fanatics loved to browse the ink selection. The Montblancs were in the top tier of fountain pens. I love pens and used to collect them (especially at the store's discount), but only ballpoints.

Vijaya said...

Barb, I do! My favorite is the lavender. It's a very dark purple, not like the flower. Next is the royal blue. I tried the blue-black because I also like black but that was a terrible choice. I now use it for testing various pens. Yes, of all the fountain pens I've had over the years, the Mont Blanc is really the crème de la crème. It's smoothness is unparalleled. I've had mine for over 20 yrs and use it every day. It is one pen that I do not share with anybody. I bought it as a gift to myself for earning a PhD. I thought I'd be writing many scientific papers and wanted to enjoy those first drafts. I didn't know then I'd be a real writer--I mean of stories and poems :)