Thursday, August 16, 2007

Are you addicted to distraction?
Do you love the rush of busyness?
Hello, my name is Susan. I have a distraction and adrenaline addictions.
(Element series: Earth)

A few weeks ago, I received the usual newsletter from creativity coach and author, Eric Maisel in which he discussed his new work on Creativity Recovery focusing on new types of addictions that undermine creativity. He pointed out that both "distraction addictions and the adrenaline addictions are existential cheap thrills."

I stand up and say...yes, they are. They keep you thinking you're accomplishing something while at the same time, draining away your creative energy and sucking away your soul.

Ever gotten hooked by drama? It doesn't matter if it's the daytime or nighttime kind, your own personal events, your kids, your neighbors, your coworkers, it is all too easy to get caught up in the adrenaline high that comes with complaining or problem solving someone else's problems. It keeps you real 'busy' doesn't it? And there's the rush in rushing around. Yes, it's an adrenaline high and it's addictive. Why? Because it keeps fear at bay or so we think.

According to Eric Maisel, "If we are even minimally anxious, resistant, discouraged, uncertain or unmotivated and therefore eager to find some way to avoid getting on with our writing, how strong the pull is to distract ourselves with a beckoning, right-at-hand Internet possibility.
How much easier it is to get a rush by hopping on your motorcycle and racing down the road than by canalizing your energy, channeling your being into your creative work, and waiting for the rush of good adrenal feeling that may not come until late this afternoon—or next week—or not at all. The pull to avoid our work can prove so strong that it is fair to call our flight compulsive and to characterize our behavior in real and not metaphoric terms as an addiction."

I agree. It is all too easy to jump on the Internet and...check your blog, check my blog, check out the latest news, weather, fashion, movie, book or even to 'justify' your distraction by calling it research that lasts for hours. I know. I've been there. I've done it.

Time for a change. Now the first shall come last and the last shall come first. Starting today, I will check email, internet news, weather and blogs in the afternoon when my creative brain is usually tired. And I will stop myself from rushing around trying to get all these small things done like they are the end of the world. Instead, I'll do one at a time, around my creative time not 'before' it. And when I feel the pull to problem solve someone else's problems or complain, I'll take a deep breath and say instead, "I am completely stopping."


MT said...

Great "column" ... not just a blog!


Susan GT said...

Thanks! I've always wanted to be one of those 'column' writers.