Thursday, February 9, 2012

Losing Focus

This week I've been having a hard time focusing, and I can't figure out why. My brain's felt foggy. It takes me until lunchtime to get going. All my little tricks haven't worked so well. Getting more sleep, exercising, being outside; nothing's been successful.

A couple of weeks ago, I had way too much stuff to do. My agent asked for some edits on my new work, suddenly I had interviews, a bunch of kid activities, lunch dates, blog posts, doctor appointments, insurance snafus, (and probably more I've forgotten), but somehow having a lot of stuff to do made me work harder and smarter. Laser-focus! I even made bread and cookies. I read a ton of books. It seems like the less I have to do, the lazier I get.

Because I haven't exactly worked, I did lots of important Internet-related activities, like listen to countless covers of Joy Division's LOVE WILL TEAR US APART (seriously, there are some great ones). I also retook the Meyer-Briggs personality test. I'm still an INTJ (Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging), which a lot of writers are. No surprise. But then I took an ARE YOU A TYPE A OR TYPE B PERSONALITY? test and, much to my surprise, I'm a type A! Now, I thought I was too quiet (introvert, you know) to be a Type A, but when I thought about it, I realized I'm not internally quiet. Internally I'm extremely loud. If you were inside my brain with me, you'd be covering your ears and staring in wonder at the psychedelia erupting all around you. (Except for days like today, when it's slightly cloudy psychedelia).

And I hate being late and I hate it when people make mistakes and I really really hate it when I make a mistake. All Type A traits. But because I don't exactly go around yelling at everyone and being all Alpha about my Type A-ness, I never thought I was.

So perhaps, due to my newly discovered Type A personality, I just need to be slightly overburdened to feel at my best. I like a little bit of stress and juggling. I actually like human interaction, frankly, and when I have nothing scheduled (and somehow all my social and work stuff seems to happen at exactly the same time instead of being spread out), a piece of me fritzes out.

I wonder, dear readers, what you do when you find yourself in a dull lull. Do you give yourself a break? Beat yourself up? Introduce a new stressor into your life on purpose? Lie around and eat brownies while watching Judge Judy? Not that I've ever done that.

I guess I'll keep on fighting through, and hope this too shall pass.

-- Margaret Dilloway


WriterAtLunch said...

Hi Margaret,

I'm in a similar writing lull. Although to be honest, I've sat quite comfortably in it for a good six months. I'm reading instead, in desperate hope that my favourite writers will prompt me into action!

I just discovered this blog today by the way, and am very much enjoying it!

adventures said...

From one Type A personality to another, I also do my best work when I have the most on my plate. But when I do get in a lull, I try to do something, anything, outdoors. Nature has a way of helping to re-energize and re-focus.

Kathi Diamant said...

So glad to hear this from you. I thought the fogginess in this A Type's brain was due to incipient aging. But you are still young! So maybe it's something else. I hope so.
Tai chi. helps. me.

L.;Gunther said...

Having a physical disability makes me very aware of time slipping away while trying to keep up with just routine stuff. Currently, I'm mending a bruised fanny from a fall taken three weeks ago. Ironically, because of the extra help I receive in my morning prep, I have more time to write, comment and analyze stuff that happens. BUT, can't wait to be a bit more mobile once again.

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