The Power of Distraction
No sooner had I decided what to write about and typed the caption, than I got distracted. I was thirsty and needed a cool beverage to sip as I wrote my article.
Downstairs in the refrigerator, I discovered the pork chops I had intended to marinade for dinner still in the wrapping, sans marinade. So I whipped up my famous homemade marinade and got them started. [One package of Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing mix; ¼ cup of olive oil; ¼ cup brown sugar; ¼ cup red wine vinegar; a teaspoon of thyme; half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper; ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp allspice and a pinch of salt.] In case you were thinking of asking, which would only distract you from reading the rest of this informative article.
Then my hands needed washing, so I proceeded to the sink. In the sink, I discovered the dirty dishes from lunch. So I did the dishes and went back to the fridge for my tasty beverage. By the time I had it ready, I thought about how nice it would be to have a few minutes to read while the cat was outside--not trying to insert himself between me and my book, which is his nonverbal way of saying, “Hey, you’re not paying attention to me. Look at me. Pat me. Pay attention to meeeenow!”
I got about fifteen minutes of peaceful reading in when (speak of the devil) I heard scratching at the door. I got up from my comfy spot on the sofa and let him in. Now, I decided to go back to typing this article…only by that time, I needed another cool beverage. *sigh.
But I don’t want to paint distraction as the enemy. Distraction is actually a very important part of the human experience. And as writers we may forget, but we’re actually providing hours of distraction for someone else…hopefully, several someones! We may never know if we’re relieving their boredom or giving them a welcome respite from a hectic day, or providing a healthy escape from a sad situation. We’re there when they need us in our own special ways.
My own introduction to the romance genre came during a sad situation. I was taking care of my terminally ill parents and desperately needed some kind of distraction. A fellow nurse, who knew what I was going through shoved a book in my hands and said, “Here. Read this.” I’m glad she didn’t tell me it was a romance novel or I’d probably have said, “Well thanks for thinking of me, but no thanks.” That book was the first in Diana Gabeldon’s Outlander series. Talk about a healthy escape! Time travel, adventure, an intelligent, thoughtful heroine…and it was so well written, I didn’t know I was reading a romance novel until I was well into the sequel!
Oops, just now as I was thinking about what to write next and made the mistake of checking my email. I got a couple of links from friends I had to check out, then thought of two things I needed to research, did some on-line shopping…and so it goes.