Shrink: How’s your concentration?
Indy Clause (pausing to consider that she can’t concentrate enough on her mood to even answer the question): Fair to middling.
Shrink: Is your lack of concentration causing you problems?
Indy Clause: I feel as if it’s situational lack of concentration.
Shrink stares patiently at Indy, waiting for her to explain.
Indy: I mean, I just went to a big writing conference. I made some new friends and one of them in particular has been feeding me a lot of opportunities. Actually, she’s my friend from grad school, not one of my new friends [barely restrains herself from telling Shrink four more stories about her new friends]. And my reader just sent my book back to me [barely restrains herself from telling Shrink three stories about her manuscript and/or her beta reader], so I want to work on that. And I have actual paying work to do. [Falls silent.] [Reflects on the fact that she’s sounding more ADD than usual.]
I have no idea how talk therapists deal with writers. I once had a therapist who asked me how I felt about being an orphan. “Oh it’s romantic. Positively Victorian!” He stopped me right in my tracks. “What about the concept rather than the word?” Oh. That man was worth his weight in pre-tax healthcare savings account dollars.
But why should I suffer alone? Here is some of the fantastic stuff I’ve been reading in my headlong rampage across the Internet. I first read Vanessa Martir’s account of AWP, where white male writers were stepping over a black man lying on the ground outside the men’s bathroom. Then I found her blog. And writing tips.
I have discovered places to submit researchy nonfiction [Management: Yes, that’s a term.]
CougarSon is not the bratty adoring and adorable boy I grew up with anymore. He is now a man with a family and a Ph.D., and we’re facebook friends. I like reading his links to long intellectual pieces about race and politics. CougarSon is interested in politics, but I got caught up in the discussion of Cornell West and scholarly writing in the middle of the article.
Here is the song referenced in the title.
What’s been distracting you recently?