Saturday, April 28, 2012

What, finish a novel? How can I focus with Facebook, YouTube and the guy with the exploding meth lab in his pants?

When I was a newspaper reporter, I wrote very fast. I didn't have a choice. As one of my cranky editors used to tell me, "This page is going out at 8, and it can't go out blank."

(He also had a habit of coming up behind me every 10 minutes, rubbing his hands together and saying in a fake-happy voice, "How's it coming, Majeske??" It was very motivating.)

So you would think that writing fast would be drilled into my DNA. But for some reason, I'm down for the word count - quite literally.

It feels like it's taking me a long time to move forward on my current work-in-progress. Every week, it seems, it's two steps forward and one step back. Oh sure, I've changed the plotline a couple of times and replaced some good ideas with what I think are better ones. I've even added a few red herrings.

But the real slowdown?  I think I have to blame that on my friends and family. Yes, that's right. They're just too interesting - far too distracting. And Facebook? It's deadly. I mean, I have friends who post news articles about criminals who have portable meth labs blowing up in their pants, and a few who send me multiple photos from their latest shopping excursions. Others send me comics, clips from YouTube, new sites to check out and new titles I should be reading. Somebody signed me up for Pinterest.

Seriously? My concentration level can't compete with that. I'm doomed. I obviously need to go away for a week (or two) in a remote cabin with no WiFi.

Or maybe I'll just call my old editor and have him yell at me for awhile. It might be good for both of us.

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