Tuesday, October 2, 2012

This Is How You Prioritize

I'm coming to terms with the impossibility of concentrating while I'm at home. I'm lucky enough to have a few days off this week and I had some time I set aside specifically for writing and other creatively productive activities, only to finally come to realize that I cannot concentrate in the comfort of my apartment. I simply cannot. There is way too much distraction and I often wonder how people who do manage to arrange their lives so that they work at home get anything done. I mean the internet is one whole animal on its own. As I type this right now, I'm struggling against my overpowering urge to check my facebook/twitter/email. It is more than just a little bit ridiculous. There is nothing that I would learn by going there now that I can't learn later. I want to stop making such meaninglessness important. Priorities.

Priorities are a theme as of late. And I suspect this is for several reasons, not the least of which is reading Junot Diaz's latest book This is How You Lose Her and discovering, for probably the fifteenth time that small pang of jealousy that resides in a far corner of my brain and awakens at only very specific moments. I very rarely get jealous of anyone. When it happens, it is always a surprise and it is almost infallibly of a stranger and more often than not, of a writer and of their talent. Haha, I suppose my jealousy is reserved for very specific things. And reading a book as good as pretty much anything Diaz writes will always be a trigger. I am in love with his style, with his stories, with his characters, with his talent. It makes me want to be around him in order to be available, should it ever be possible to absorb even 1/100th of the talent it takes to be a writer like that. That he is close to my age, that he comes from Latin America and understands and articulates so well the marooning, adrift feeling of being a stranger in a strange land...all these things amplify the things I want to do. Apparently he speaks directly to many other people too as he just became a MacArthur fellow. Anyway, I don't need to be all that. I just need to write. Reading his books remind me of that priority.

Now if only I could actually prioritize instead of always thinking about doing it in the abstract. Why is everything so much easier in the abstract?

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