One of my focuses over the past few weeks is being present in the moment. Everyone has noticed how bad people are in public with being on their phone all the time. If you walk into a restaurant, half the people sitting at a table are scrolling through their social media poison of choice.
I’m not talking about that. That’s obviously mental cancer.
What I’m referring to are the little things.
I noticed that I was getting my phone out way too often while I was watching movies. If there wasn’t a crazy action scene on the TV at that moment, I’d check my email or my sales or the weird messages I get on Facebook. Next thing I knew, I missed an important scene or a piece of dialogue that explained a story twist.
When I was writing, my phone would ding.
Boom, I’m retweeting something instead of working on a character bit.
This happens a lot. Next time you go to a concert, check out how many people are recording or taking pictures on their phone. They aren’t experiencing the moment, they’re trying to record it. What’s the point of preserving a memory that you never experienced in the first place? Are you ever going to watch that video you recorded in the dark of a football game you were seventy-five yards away from?
No, you aren’t.
So I’ve put away the phone. When the itch to whip it out (heh) hits me, I resist the urge. Watch the goddamn movie. Talk to the slightly stinky guy beside you at the bar. He might have a good story about why he smells like onions. Or maybe he’s just weird and you’ll have an even better tale to tell your friends later.
When it’s time to work, then work. Take pride in what you’re doing. Writing sprints do this for me. My biggest problem right now is that I’m not doing enough of them. But that’s a blog for another time.
The result? I’m enjoying movies more. Music has more meaning. I’m reading more books, finishing more workouts, and meeting more people.
And then buy me a beer at the bar and explain to me why you reek of onions.
Today, I wrote 1168 words in the untitled sixth book in The Hunger, bringing the total to 22863.
See ya tomorrow.