This past week I've found it hard to concentrate on my writing. This is a busy time of year for us starting with my son's sixth Birthday yesterday and continuing at a chaotic pace until after Christmas. Apart from this specific time, life in general holds many distractions for a writer trying to desperately carve out their writing time. I began to consider: which distractions could be viewed not as time away from writing but instead as inspiration for writing?
Distractions come in many guises. Certain activities that distract from your writing time are easy enough to turn into inspiring moments spent. For instance time spent with family at the beach or doing a craft activity with children can help us create realistic character relationships, write about emotions and describe the waves crashing against rocks.
However, many distractions in our life are not so easy. There's the tedious responsibilities such as cleaning the bathroom, paying bills and doing your tax return. Then there's the irritating time drains. For instance: having to ring customer services for the tenth time to inform the obnoxious unable-to-think-outside-the-box customer representative that they have yet again miscalculated your bill.
I ask myself: can any distraction become inspiration?
Can the metamorphosis of distraction into inspiration enable our every moment to become an interesting, productive writing moment?
I think the answer is yes. Being a writer isn't just about sitting down with your manuscript editing and writing. It's about making the choice to commit to your identity as a writer so that during every moment you're willing to actively be a writer.
Maybe with this commitment, even the most irritating or mundane parts of life will become meaningful, useful and/or enjoyable.
On that note I'll get back to you after I've scrubbed the toilet and let you know if I managed to find any sliver of inspiration from that!