My distractions in 2014 were:
-playing the original Civilization game for days and days on end sometimes. My excuse is that I always listened to talks or documentaries on YouTube while playing, but it’s a huge distraction. It calms my mind and must be very similar to using heroine or smoking pot. I forget all my worries, go into a state of flow, can focus more on the documentary I’m listening to (without the game I have the tendency to click away, look for something else, jot down ideas, check email or twitter, and so on). The shocking truth is that I am happy when I play this game. Then why do I list it as a distraction? Because just like with drugs, there’s an inevitable hangover to deal with. Immediately after a game or towards the end of a game I feel empty, cheated out of useful time by myself, lost, cheap, hassled, useless. It’s an escape, an extremely good one, certainly one of the smoothest escape routes open to me, but it leaves me worse off. Like I said, the only small benefit is that I took in a lot of knowledge while I was playing. But what is the value of knowledge if I’m too distracted to apply that knowledge?
-an other obvious distraction is looking up stuff, finding out things, soaking up knowledge. Some of which I apply (this year I wrote and staged a play about the battle of Stalingrad) but most of it, doesn’t seem to be very useful. I love it, I can lose myself in wikipedia, in books, in articles, in documentaries. But there’s no clear point to it. It’s a very big distraction that is really out of control. For example, today I read about prostrate cancer, religious stories similar to that of Jesus Christ, underground housing and underground cities and the guy who shot John Wilkes Booth… WHAT IS THE BLOODY POINT OF ALL THIS? I know enough to have very pleasant conversations with lots of different people, but I don’t know much that is of any direct practical use… At least I don’t rightly see any concrete use to all this, unless I’m going to write a play about prostrate cancer in an underground city or something.
-bying books and making lists with books I’d like to read. Oh, this has been a major distraction this year.
-writing very lengthy and opinionated emails to friends (whom I never meet anymore, because I’m too distracted), but hiding all my opinions in professional settings…
-reading useless stuff on internet about ‘mysteries’ or bizarre historical facts
-watching friends, but dubbed in Slovak (I try hard to make my distractions somehow useful, which makes the distraction trap look even juicier)
-watching series like Game of Thrones (while playing civilization)
-writing blog posts such as these and ‘not finding the time’ to continue serious work on novels or plays or articles about non fiction topics
-switching into therapist mode instantly and for free for anyone in sight, in stead of working on a real client base
More important is to know what I seek to distract myself from. So, what am I running from:
-looking up stuff that matters concerning all the legislation on working as a therapist or tax legislation or publishing house that might actually give a damn about what I write
-looking for the right people to get my novels published
-looking for more people to help stage plays and make movies
-writing articles for magazines in stead of fairly useless blog posts
-actually living and DOING stuff
-truly appyling my language skills in stead of just studying and studying languages without really ‘cashing in’
-actually going to all the courses I want to take
-get over my deep rooted hatred for macho types and actually going to a gym or at least get all the essential equipment to have my own gym at home (I don’t lack the motivation to work out, I do lack the equipment and/or the mindset to endure the brain deadening atmosphere in a gym)
That’s about it.
I’m really curious to hear about your distractions and what you are distracting yourself from.