Yesterday, I told you I had an interesting weekend, because of something unexpected. And I said I’d tell you about everything, today.
Let’s get to it.
Things actually started last Thursday. The truck had to have the brake lines looked at. They’d been leaking a bit—not so good.
Anyway, Farm and Fleet seemed like the best available place. Tried to get it looked at. They were extremely busy that day. And to top things off, they’d need the truck for more than a day.
And to make things worse, I brought a notebook and pen to brainstorm ideas while I waited (and before they said I’d have to come back).
I say “worse” because they had a TV on. With the History Channel.
And I like TV.
It’s something I enjoy, maybe too much at times.
And the History Channel had a rerun of Pawn Stars on.
Pawn Stars is a fascinating show all about negotiating, salesmanship, and just plain cool stuff (which is the subject of another post or three, or should be).
So anyway, two things I enjoy (writing and watching TV) collided in that moment.
To put things simply…
Between the engine noises in the shop, Pawn Stars on TV, and me trying to brainstorm new ideas for stories…
I failed. Trainwreck.
Out of my element, in an unfamiliar place, and trying to WRITE? Who the heck was I kidding?
After all, who wouldn’t want to hear about a pair of handcuffs that actually belonged to Houdini, and details behind some of his tricks?
I got caught up, and my writing suffered some that day.
Has that ever happened to you? Maybe with your kids, friends, or what-have-ya? Trying to prioritize over a million different distractions?
Maybe you’re super at it. Keeping your point in a dozen different tasks without a slip-up? Construction sites downtown, jackhammers three feet from your front door–bring ’em on, you don’t mind.
Or maybe you’re not as good, and get sidetracked by the cat. That’s not my point.
At Farm and Fleet, those distractions shouldn’t have mattered.
I should have been able to write, and ignore the people going in and out of both doors in the shop, the TV, and all the shop noise. To plod through all that noise, and get some real work done.
But I didn’t–not even a character sketch of anyone I saw who came into the store.
Maybe if I had to take more trips to the Farm and Fleet shop I’d learn to tune out better.
But I can do that anywhere, for a lot less money than a brake line repair, that’s for sure.
Tuning out is a skill, Mom once said to me. Which means it has to be practiced.
And as far as Farm and Fleet, we had to get the truck back there, the next day. So the truck was there from Friday until yesterday.
Which is why I had a great weekend—I had to push the Sunday shopping trip from its usual day to yesterday. It’s nice having time to relax, sometimes.
Like watching Pawn Stars in a mechanic shop.
That’s the thing, though—distraction can be counter-productive if carried on for too long (I seem to be beating that drum a lot lately—personal experience, perhaps?)
Are you great at tuning out distractions? If you’d like to drop me a line in the comments about a time you got sidetracked on a project, I’d appreciate it. Did you get back on track right away, or did it take a little while? Or, did you turn the distraction into inspiration or a new direction for that project, or start a new project?
And regardless of all that, let’s work on our “tune out” abilities, all right? I’ve got a feeling it could come in handy, some day.
Until next time,