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The Blog

Are YOU Easily Distracted, Too, Or Should We Go Get Gelato Instead of Writing?

Steven Luna

Are You Distracted.jpg

I was on a roll with this author thing again...REALLY. I was. I was writing every day, and I was making progress on Handelman, and little Sid was talking to his Uncle Morty, learning about an illusionist from the old days who had real magic, too, and then...and then...

And then, PODCASTING!

And down the rabbit hole I go. (That’s what the image above is supposed to be…a rabbit hole, with a dizzy-spinning starfield sky in the background…looking at it as I write this, I can see where maybe that isn’t so clear, so. Now you know.)

Maybe I haven’t told you recently since I only just started updating this site again in the last few weeks, but besides writing novels, I have a podcasting company too, called Media Empire Media, and this whole AVALANCHE of ideas for new podcasts just sort of slid down the mountain of my brain and filled in all the spaces where my writing stuff is and just COVERED it all in...sound.

Weird image.

But it’s totally true!

It sort of broke open a truism about me and how my creative cha-cha happens, too: There’s no such thing as one idea; there’s only IDEAS. (The editor in me is dying to change that to “there are” but that wouldn’t be right, because THERE’S ONLY IDEAS, people.)

Creatives are like this: when you shake the idea jar in your own head, you don’t usually get one idea rolling out of the spout (yes, idea jars have spouts...also: ideas exist in jars), because a lot of times one idea is really a series of little ideas. And hey, if one idea made of a bunch of little ideas is going to roll out, then other ideas made of little ideas are going to roll out right along with them—and sometimes, it’s just a bunch of little ideas that shake out onto the table...suddenly you have, that’s right, an avalanche of ideas.

Well, good lord. WHICH ONE ARE YOU GOING TO LOOK AT FIRST? THEY’RE ALL SO PRETTY!

My pattern has always been LOOK AT THEM ALL! AT THE SAME TIME!

“But you only have so many eyes, Luna!” is what you’re thinking. And I’m thinking it, too. But they really ARE so pretty. How do you choose? And more importantly, if you were already working on an idea when you shook the jar, how do you make sure that idea doesn’t get lost in the landslide?

No...really. I’m asking the question.

I don’t have an answer.

I know that I had all the best intentions of working through the fall on Handelman. I know that a podcast about what’s involved in being an indie author is SO SHINY, and OH MAN – I’m already BEING an indie author! A podcast can only reinforce that! And a podcast about being creative SPARKLES LIKE THOSE STRIPS YOU PUT ON YOUR LAWN TO SCARE AWAY BIRDS SO THEY DON’T EAT THE GRASS SEED YOU JUST SPRINKLED ALL OVER, but instead of scaring me away, it makes me come closer. HA HA, BIRDS…you’re really missing out! And how many other podcast ideas shake out of the jar now that I’m listening to podcasts and I finally understand the thrill of making them? And even if I find a pattern that I can follow through the lather-rinse-repeat method to knock out a bunch of episodes in a few weeks, there’s a lot of work to be done—writing scripts and composing theme songs and recording take after take until I get it right and editing it all together and mixing it so the sound is sweet and happy so they can sound like the podcasts the big guys make (another version of self-publishing!) and making logos and uploading to iTunes and Stitcher (which I don’t actually do…thanks, Duke!) and setting up social media and promoting them and...

Yikes.

And that’s just ONE idea. Made of a dozen smaller ideas.

And there are about six or so of these in the pile of idea rubble, scattered among the story ideas that need to be turned into books. Also: this blog, and another blog, and a few art projects I need to finish up...

AND POOR SID! He’s been shoved aside unceremoniously by all of this. Unintentionally, sure, though I’m sure that’s no consolation. But he needs to be back in the rotation.

So guess what my next new creative endeavor is?

Making a schedule.

Don’t laugh. I’m serious.

I’m going to try (try) to make a schedule, in which I have time designated for each of these creative endeavors throughout the week so I can address them all without losing track of any of them for very long, if at all. HOW ANTI-CREATIVE, you say...HOW UNSPONTANEOUS.

I said the SAME THING.

But the ideas aren’t going to stop coming, and I’m trying to conduct all of this creativity in a way that feeds into a business structure (yes, Media Empire Media is a full-on business, with a license and a ledger and everything, and I treat my publishing like a business, too), and clearly I am incapable of doing that without imposing some sort of order on myself. The hope is that this will force this avalanche of ideas into arrangements—little piles on the table that have boundaries and order—so that I CAN lather-rinse-repeat all of it and not miss anything. It’s a tall order, right? And I stand a great chance of falling on my face and not being able to do anything but eat vanilla maple Halo Top out of sugar cones while bingeing old Parks and Re episodes. Which I would gladly do, by the way.

But the idea jar won’t let me.

So I’m going to try scheduling, and I’m going to see how well it goes. And I’m going to share my progress with you, in addition to sharing the progress on Handelman AND all the podcasts. And whatever else rattles out of the jar and joins the landscape in the interim (BOUND TO HAPPEN). The podcast about creativity is going to really interest you, I think.

And if not, the other ones will.

And once those are all in motion, we’ll find something else to do.

In fact, we’re probably going to do that either way.

THAT’S HOW DISTRACTION WORKS, KIDS.