You know that dog in UP? I swear the reason everyone likes him so much is because they’re all closet ADD sufferers and they identify with the canine that is so terribly sincere, but can’t keep his mind on a single topic for more than a few seconds.
Can you relate? I sure can. My mind fidgets like a kid wearing wool socks in the summertime. (I’m picturing a church scene, circa 1907.) Seriously, though, my mind has the hardest time staying in one place. Even when I’m simply explaining something, I tend to wander all the way around the bush, sometimes several times, before I finally make the point I intended to make in the first place.
Not pretty sight. And I can’t help but feel sorry for whomever is forced to listen to me.
This picture reminds me of a poem one of my kids taught me: Nuts? I love nuts! Almonds are my favorite. Peanuts drive me crazy. Crazy? I was crazy once. They put me in a cell. I lived in that cell. I died in that cell. I was buried in that cell. Flowers grew on my grave. The flowers grew up, and the flowers grew down. They drove me nuts. Nuts? I love nuts …
But writers will follow rabbit trails (or squirrel trails) like that. Driving down the road, they can picture a space ship matching their velocity, sending out duplicate drones that fill the sky like a mass of mosquitoes. Or they can sit at a volleyball game and devise how the line judge is really an FBI agent assigned to protect one of the star players who will be going into witness protection as soon as the game ends.
(It’s one of the reasons why I write. I get the opportunity to organize those little wandering ant thoughts and tie them down to a semblance of order on the page.)
So the next time you’re talking to a writer and her eyes sort of glaze over a little, don’t be offended. Who knows? Maybe you’re staring in her next story idea? Just hope that you’re not the villain!
Your Turn: What’s your greatest distraction? Mine is music. I can’t think when songs are playing. Do you have that problem?