Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 12: Bring on the Distractions

In researching how everything in a writer's environment can affect both short-term and long-term creativity and motivation, it struck me that many of these factors are to blame for the books that aren't quite finished. They also account for another book that is an almost endless round of editing.

The computer versus handwriting research pushed me to buy another notebook to place in my purse and I am in search of that perfect, lightweight, easy-flow pen. If you have a suggestion, please comment. But it went further, into a serious question of whether my mojo has been hijacked with the ease of typing rather than writing in longhand and revising on paper.

I also realize why programming makes me's the instant gratification and an absolute fascination with the spatial wonders available to me. But I digress.

Some things are distractions that should be followed and embraced to aid us in our writing process. We need to consider these alerts, such as really tasting a chocolate bar, many times for the first time in our lives. We need to look up from that paper or computer keyboard to take a photo of a brilliant sunset or to laugh out loud at the antics of a cat, dog or the squirrel on our back fence.

Finally, if you are unconvinced that distractions bring out creativity. Consider a 2011 University of Michigan study that found individuals with ADD were more creative than those who weren't.

"For the same reason that ADHD might create problems, like distraction, it can also allow an openness to new ideas," says Holly White, assistant professor of cognitive psychology at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida and co-author of the paper. "Not being completely focused on a task lets the mind make associations that might not have happened otherwise." (

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