To focus or not to focus?

epic photos fail
Make your vision blurry.
What appears to be nothing is really something if you stop focusing so much.

While I was on my trip, I noticed something strange. As I was doing other things on this trip like keeping my heart from crashing through my chest from my own paranoia of a bear sneaking up on me while I was on the latrine, little side thoughts from the corner of my brain would get through.

Thoughts of high class hookers and rodeo riders. A man unable to stop himself from reading his fiances journal because it’s sitting there on the table taunting him while he eats breakfast.

But I couldn’t quite pay attention to these thoughts because I was more preoccupied with my terror for this bear that didn’t exist. The thoughts and visions just kept flooding my skull.

What I realized was my muse really likes to fuck with me and likes to play while I’m not paying attention because as soon as I started to focus on these ideas that were coming, they stopped.

It’s like one of those illusion pictures that you can’t look directly at because you won’t see the picture that is hidden in there. You have to almost cross your eyes and NOT FOCUS on the picture in order to see the picture. But once you’ve seen it, you can’t not see it. It’s there. It’s clear. But you had to ignore it for it to come to you.

I guess it all kind of makes sense now. I remember before I made the decision to write, ideas were abundant. They came all the time. I saw possibility in everything I encountered. Movies, music, books, nature, conversations with people, ear hustling on other people’s conversations in the Starbuck’s, people watching, all of it.Β  I had ideas and stories. I could lay awake at night for hours playing out an entire novel in my head that I made up as I went along. This wasn’t my intention, it would just happen.

Now that my intention is to write, it seems impossible to even come up with an idea for a blog post. So I will try this new method and ignore my muse.Β 

But I have to tell you, a strange thing happened the other day. I had jotted down the ideas that came to me while we were out in the wilderness.

Shay’s best friend is a high class hooker, but she’s also a professional rodeo rider. Crazy, I know. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out where I could find a rodeo show around here to watch.

Well, the family and I were going to a frisbee golf course to play and we turned the wrong way. We drove for a long time. I was looking at all the cool houses and subdivision signs because sometimes they’re funny and inspire ideas. Out of nowhere there was this big white sign that said, Championship Rodeo. It gave the place, the dates and a phone number to call for more info. I couldn’t believe it! We turned around so I could write the info down and then went back the right way to our frisbee golf course.

My luck is changing, I thought. And I’ve been writing and putting notes together since.

I lost the fisbee golf game by the way. I totally suck at throwing one of those damn disks, but we had fun.

And one more thing, just to hold myself accountable, I was thinking about doing a Random Topic Tuesday, where I pick a random topic and give all the information I found on it. I figure it might help with ideas for writing, character traits, scenes, places, etc…

What do you think about that? I could use some feedback. Honest feedback. And maybe some ideas for random topics that you’d like to see.

Until next time
~Live Happy


23 thoughts on “To focus or not to focus?

  1. i have an weird interplay with energy myself. when i let go energetically of an idea, of a desire, of a want, whether material or conceptual, i seem to find that it moves closer. part of the intending process is exactly as you describe, an unfocusing of sorts and seeing it there. cool pix:)

  2. It's hard to say. Everyone is different. My ideas come at the speed of light from pictures, things going on behind things, et cetera.

    My current WIP came from a discovery show dropping the worlds largest rubber band ball from an airplane. I have annihilate the surface of the planet with it.

    Another was a dream – the whole book start to finish.

    My finished piece came in an instant when I imagined hitting a tree on a curve.

    So many came and went without the chance to jot them down. But I cannot possibly write all that I have jotted down.

    Ideas are cheap. Talent is when you can put those ideas into the minds of others as though it were experience…through the magic of words.

    I pat myself on the back sometimes when I manage to combine ideas to expand the depth of a story; two made one.

    Stepping away to see a bigger picture is a great way to proceed. The illusion picture is a good metaphor. We are, after all, only building pictures with our words.

  3. Unfortunately, creativity never follows the rules, does it? I mean, my best ideas *always* seem to come at the worst possible time. That's the reason I've started carrying a notebook with me all the time.

    I like the idea of a Random Topic Tuesday, although I suspect it would help you far more than any of us. There's nothing better than researching and writing about some random subject about which you previously knew very little. I do shit like that all the time! πŸ™‚

    Word verification: Linga. How a person in Boston would pronounce the name of that song by The Cranberries back in the day. πŸ™‚

  4. Really cool post and I relate to it so much. When I wasn't so focused I had ideas all the time and then when I buckled down I had nothin'…it all went quiet. Cricket quiet. I'm trying to get that internal editor out of my head, that is what holds me back more than anything. I try to edit my frist draft. I need to just let it be shitty then edit but I haven't figured out how to get back to writing the shitty part and getting the ideas down.
    AND I am a pro at those pictures. Dots in the candy one.

  5. …inspiration can hit at the oddest, and usually, at the most inopportune moments.

    It harbors no rules, yet begs the question…”Do you grab the wheel and drive, or let someone else pass you by?”
    That's the beauty of this biz:)

  6. Oh yeah, I have to keep something to write with around all the time because it's when I'm not thinking about writing, that stuff comes to me, not when I say, “Now I will compose a story.”

    At the online writers workshop I'm in, they had us put together a bunch of random elements and I think I have the start of a promising story involving a coal miner, a zoo, and an execusion. You just never know.

  7. Ed~ Intellectually I have known this, but to actually experience it is a whole different story. It has to happen naturally.

    JJ~ It sounds like you're very blessed. I'd like to have half of that ability.

    Terry~ Well I hoped it would maybe inspire ideas for all of my wonderful and loyal readers. Maybe a topic that they would want to research further.

    Maybe I'll let the thought linga for a bit more. πŸ˜‰

    Reforming Geek~ Yeah, no kidding! What a great story that would have been.

    Erica~ Cricket quiet. I like that. Perfect description.

    Elliot~ Thank you for that inspirational quote for ponderance.

    Amanda~ That sounds like a great start to a story. Keep me posted on what you come up with.

  8. G, I love your site. Very witty blogs and your home page is a delight to the eye. My daughter recently returned from London where she had a photo taken of her inside one of those red telephone booths. Way cute. Keep writing, you are Good!

  9. Oh wow. I am looking around at all the intelligent and helpful comments and now mine seems to come from the shallow end of the pool. I'm a little embarrassed, but all I originally had to say, was-

    OMG, I hate those pictures! They give me a bigass headache and by the time I find the Mona Lisa, I need my Excedrin.
    OMG, I love frisbee! I am going out to the shed to scrounge one up and hopefully, today, we'll get a kick-ass game going with the rest of the campers.

    I sort of feel like Ed the hyena from the Lion King. With a dash of Dory from Finding Nemo.

  10. I gave up on the stupid picture…it seems that I'm just as impatient as my muse, neither of us want to be told what or when to do something. I've learned to be happy when the ideas come my way and frantically jot them down in what I call my notebook before they go away.

    It was fun having tea with you…I'll be sure to come back.

  11. Christine~ Not shallow, just honest. πŸ˜‰ And those characters are two of my favorites.

    Susie~ That's sounds quite similar to what I do. See you at the next tea party.

    Amy~ Thanks for stopping by.

    Missed Periods~ I like the Tuesday idea too. Now, hopefully I can just keep the commitment seeing as I'm not all that good with commitment.

    Writer's Hat~ I think we all struggle. Well, all of us except for Stephen King of course. πŸ˜‰

  12. I get my best ideas when I'm not focusing. And sometimes when I'm not sure about something, I tell myself not to focus; to let it brew and not think about it. It's hard not to obsess, though!

    Thanks for dropping by my blog! πŸ™‚

  13. I focus. I get an idea and then I get obsessive over it. It's what I do.

    Maybe for your random Tuesday ideas you could do local businesses. Lately I've been hating chain stores and wishing everyone bought locally. Don't shop at WalMart, they're evil!

  14. The illusion pictures are a great analogy – especially since I can never see the picture that's hidden. I have lots of ideas floating around in my head, but when I sit down to write a post for my blog, I find myself wondering what the heck made me think that would be a post anyone would want to read.

    Thanks for stopping by.


  15. OMG!

    “my muse really likes to fuck with me and likes to play while I'm not paying attention because as soon as I started to focus on these ideas that were coming, they stopped.”

    Um. Hello! That's what I am going through RIGHT now.

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