There are many things that I would like to write about, but it seems that I never find the time to sit down and do it. There’s always something to distract me; a YouTube video pops into my head, someone updates their Facebook account and a little notification pops up on the screen, I get in the mood for porn. In this hectic online experience that we all experience today, in a world where we truly want to be creative, we can’t be. At least I can’t be. I don’t know if it’s really, truly ADHD or if I’m just suffering from genuine technological stimulus overload, but when I want to be the most creative is when I’m distracted the most.
I like writing. Over the past year or so I have gotten in the habit of writing in very short spurts of prose. 150 characters here, a few sentences there. I blame Twitter for this, it has put me in the habit of writing in as close to 140 characters per thought as I can. This is rather unfortunate. I sometimes wonder if this has contributed to my occasional challenge of articulating myself, whether I stammer or stutter my words or even forget my train of thought or random words of the English language from time to time. This occasionally happens. I find it embarrassing. I don’t have this issue when I sit down and write.
The reason I am writing a little more than usual today and actually the motivation for this line of thought is because I downloaded a minimalist word processing program on to my MacBook Pro. It is called Ommwriter Dana II. At $4.99, it seems like a good bargain. It gives me a stark, white screen with a few peaceful looking trees on it. As I’m typing, I wear my headphones and hear Eastern type music that is suppose to be motivating and inspiring for me. There are a lot of chimes and windy like sounds. The usual word processing features that one uses the most, font selection, margins, etc., is all here, I just don’t have any windows or icons or anything like that distracting me to look at the latest YouTube video that feeds the thought that is currently drifting in my head. With Ommwriter, I don’t feel like I need to take a break and look at a Wikipedia article on Sandy Duncan (I love her, by the way) or listen to the latest track by Kylie Minogue. I am concentrating on the words I am writing and hopefully, finding a better path to good articulation. When I am done writing this blog entry using Ommwriter, I can simply cut and paste it into my blogging software.
One of the things that we are missing in this multitasking, multi-windowed computing environment is focus. Well at least I am. Back in the days of the green cursor flashing next to the prompt on the black Unix screen or your favorite DOS prompt, we focused on one task at a time on the computer. And it was kind of cool. We focused on the task at hand. I think this lack of multitasking ability gave us the opportunity to carry this one-task focus into our everyday lives, like the “good ol’ days” used to be, when Beaver walked home from school with his friend Larry. They talked, examined a few things along the way, but they were there in the present and current location; they wouldn’t know what Wally was doing at college without a phone call, they didn’t get status updates on a smartphone.
My ability to focus has gone to crap and I will be the first to admit that. And I know that using Ommwriter is not going to change my life or change the world. But at least it gives me a tool to use technology for what I want to do, and that is focus on each moment, in each place for what it is.
We are having a wonderful weekend in Chicago and I will be writing about our experiences when the time is right. We are relaxing and enjoying each moment.
And it feels good.