I love to write. I have a passion. I recently made the decision to make it my vocation, as well as my hobby. I do have one problem, however, and that is reading. Nearly every writer I’ve spoken with has a passion to read as much as they write. It’s recommended to hone your craft. For me, it can be excruciatingly painful. For me, reading and bipolar are not a good combination.
Although I’ve been advised that I do not have ADD, it’s always been difficult for me to focus on one thing at a time. When I was a kid, I would come home and watch Gilligan’s Island after school. Most kids in my neighborhood did. What made me different than most is I could not just sit there and watch it. I had to be doing something else – usually that was drawing.
I drew on everything. My older brother worked in a paper mill at the time and he once brought me home a giant roll of paper which I went through in no short order. Back in the day, pantyhose were packaged with a cardboard inserts to hold the hose in place rather than just laying at the bottom of the bag. Hell, I’m sure they are packaged the same way today. Most women wore hose all the time back then so there were lots of cardboard inserts for me to draw on. With time I became good at sketching, which is something I wish I had kept up.
Today it’s the computer. I still have difficulty just sitting there watching the boob-tube. I have to be surfing the web or writing at the same time. It’s frustrating to my husband Maurice, because something will happen and he’ll ask me, “Did, you see that?” Usually my answer is, “No.”
I use to be a voracious reader. Reading was my oasis. It was the one thing I could do without being easily distracted. Typically I’d read one book every other day. Alas, that is true no more. I still read, but it’s at a much shorter pace. Sometimes I feel like I have to stop reading mid-chapter because I’ve reached my saturation point. I despise stopping mid-chapter, so it feels like someone is ripping my brain to pieces as I hurriedly try to finish it. I should learn to allow myself to stop as needed because I don’t retain the information well when I try to rush to the end, but that’s going to take a lot of training.
I’ve written before about my difficulty reading long blog posts. Typically, a post longer than 900 – 1,000 words is beyond my limit. This is disappointing because I read some amazing blogs, so it’s frustrating if I have to skip someone’s post because I know it’s more than I can handle. It’s for this reason I try to keep my posts around 600 words or so. This makes me feel guilty because lately I’ve posted some articles that far exceed this self-imposed limit. The guilt comes from my expectation that my blogging readers will enjoy my long posts, yet, I can’t reciprocate by reading theirs.
I’m very picky about which blogs I follow, so if I regularly read yours please don’t be offended if I skip many of your posts. Good writing is an art and I appreciate some things can’t be said in less than 1,000 words. I’d love to read them all, but sometimes it’s just too exhausting to try to read the long ones. Consider this my apology.
Do you have a similar problem? If not, is there anything else you’d like to do, but find yourself too easily distracted? I’m curious if I’m alone with this problem.