Hey there and Happy Sunday. It’s been a good week for getting things done but if your anything like me, you have a hard time staying focused on your work in progress. Let’s face it, there are a lot of things to distract us. With social media, and the internet, not to mention Netflix and all of the other streaming services that we like to use for our entertainment. Some of us have families and jobs that also take up the majority of our lives, making it almost impossible to commit to writing a novel. But there are ways to make time for writing and everything and everyone that truly matters to us. I’m not going to sugar coat anything and tell you to go meditate or turn off your computer. I am going to keep it real.
Social media is addictive, we all know this and often times we spend more time connecting with followers than our real friends if we are lucky enough to have any. Even making new (real friends) becomes difficult. Theres a lot of lonely people out here and social media plays a big part in it. What were we doing before we had Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram? We were going out and meeting people we could actually get to know and hang out with. Building relationships and friendships that can last a lifetime if we let it. It’s time to learn how to stay away from social media sites, when you know they are putting a strain on your relationship, your marriage, writing or doing anything creative, work, friends and overall…life.
When you have a job that is so demanding that you find yourself taking your work home, cancelling out on dates and having fun, spending time with the kids and keeping your marriage intact and yes trying to finish that very important novel; it’s time to start re-evaluating whether or not this is the job for you. We only get one life to live and we only get one chance to live it to the fullest. If we spend every day and every minute trying to make our bosses richer than they already are, how is it really benefitting us? You wake up and find out that the world has continued without you, your significant other is sneaking around hiding a new love interest, the kids are doing things that you would completely disapprove of and the wedge between you and them is getting bigger and bigger, and your work in progress has become a work in dreamland because you haven’t worked on it in months. Life is too short to spend it spending your entire life trying to reach the brass ring that’s often tarnished once you do finally get it. Nothing is perfect and no one will ever have a life that allows you to live like royalty without problems or consequences.
When the kids are needing you for what seems like every waking hour, it’s time to teach them how to have “Me Time.” For them and for you. They aren’t always at home and they aren’t always awake. Sometimes we have to wait until they are at school, or doing afterschool activities, or even bedtime in order to make time for ourselves. But “Me Time” is more important than you think. I strongly believe that many parents become burnt out while raising children because they often haven’t learned how to juggle their time to allow time for themselves. This is especially true of new mothers taking care of newborns. Babies require constant care all hours of the day and night and when they fall asleep, that’s when you try to sleep. So how do you make time for writing? Well this one is a little tricky. But if you are married or in a relationship with the baby’s mother or father than ask them to take some time to do their duty as a parent. In fact, you shouldn’t even have to ask them, it should come automatically. You didn’t bring this child into the world by yourself, so it’s time your partner stepped up and help out when they aren’t working. When a parent is able to have an hour or two for themselves it helps to keep them from getting depressed or angry because they are tied down to the responsibility of raising their kids. This can cause parents to lose their own identities and sense of self because they aren’t allowed to truly express themselves or enjoy life anymore. It’s always work. Parents have become resentful of their partners and sometimes even the kids too and often taking their frustration out on them because they just can’t take it anymore. You need time for yourself even if it’s just for a half hour. If you don’t have a partner in your life, ask your mother or father, a friend or consider some daycare. It will make all the difference in the world.
The Internet as a whole has been responsible for causing more distractions than you can possibly imagine. I see people on their phones at work, on the bus, on the train, while walking down the street, at the movies, in restaurants, at the grocery store, doctor’s offices and yes especially at home. We have become addicted to the internet and many of us don’t even know it. It has become the ruler of our lives and has alienated everyone we know, love or care about. It causes us to do our jobs poorly at work, to ignore the person we are sitting with on a date or take away time that should be spent with our loved ones. I can’t tell you how often I have strayed away from my writing to go browse the internet. More times than I can count. It’s hard to stay away so that we can focus on the things that really matter.
But why? I can’t even answer that question. But I am sure that someone is benefitting from a world of distracted people. So, distracted that we are letting the whole world burn. Every day I read the news about mass shootings, murders within families, and a political system that is so corrupt that you can write books about it. I’m not going to blame it all on President Trump either, because we are doing ourselves in as well. We are weak minded and easily manipulated into doing the wrong things for money, for power, for attention and for just plain narcissism. The internet is one of the best things that ever happened to society and one of the worst. It’s time to realize when we are allowing it to control us instead of us controlling it. Technology will continue to rise and rule our lives and if we aren’t careful, we will be so distracted that when we no longer have control over anything anymore because it was taken away so gradually, it’ll be too late to do anything about it because we won’t see it coming. But it’s already happening. Just stay focused and aware and you’ll be surprised what you see, hear, and what you can accomplish.