On Presence

I’ve been thinking a lot about presence recently, and especially how much I’ve caught myself not being in the present moment in recent weeks.

February was a tough writing month for me in part because I spent more time thinking about stories I haven’t written yet than thinking about my actual current work-in-progress. Even now, one week into this month, I find myself thinking a lot about the end game for The Herb Witch Tales. Not just how I want part 2 to end, but about how I want to reread parts 1 and 2 together and think of them holistically, how I might need additional drafts just to ensure I get them right before I publish, and how my publishing timeline seems to be in a state of constant expansion.

I haven’t even finished a full draft of part 2 yet.

A similar feeling has passed over me while spending time with my three-year-old. A moment at the park when he is playing a game with me but I’m thinking about what time we need to leave to be home for dinner. Or a moment where I’m watching him interact with his six-month-old brother and wondering if the two of them will make each other laugh as teenagers the way they do now.

Neither of those are “bad” distractions, but they are distractions nonetheless.

Even in writing this post, I can’t keep my fingers off my phone until I’ve settled on a song that both suits my vibe and allows me to focus. (The correct answer is “Monumental Holiday” by Dead Sara.)

What I have tried to do is take those distracting thoughts, let them pass through me, and let them go — a lesson I’ve taken from the meditation intro I listened to last month.

Am I going to be able to publish my stories this year? Maybe. Keep writing. What will my kids be like at X age? Impossible to know and always fascinating, but don’t lose sight of who they are right now.

What I can’t say for sure is whether I’m more distracted than usual, or I’m just noticing it more. This site is ostensibly A Writer’s Blog, but these things tend to bleed into each other.

Steve D

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