My husband often jokes about how easily influenced I am. Like yesterday, I was sitting in the bathtub reading a book, when suddenly the author mentioned fresh-baked chocolate cookies. As soon as I drained the water from the tub, I headed to the kitchen to make a batch of no bakes. This is a repeating pattern in my life. A commercial comes on for Taco Bell? I want Mexican! Pizza Hut has a new pizza? I must have Italian! Ni Hao Kai-Lan is on? Chinese for dinner! And I want a cute little koala friend as well!
Besides the potential for making me chubby, this tendency to go with whatever catches my eye can sometimes be a danger to my career as well. How so? Because I forget what I’m really good at when something else inspires me or catches my eye. I have noticed this with my hobbies. I have gone through phases of jewelry-making, sewing, yoga, drawing, photography, playing various musical instruments, cooking, dancing and many other now forgotten obsessions. Not that any of these things are bad…they are all fun in their own way and can be educational.
My problem is I seem to get obsessed for a short period of time and then move on to another interest. Except for writing, I rarely ever stay with anything for any length of time. Plus, when I let all of these other things suck me in too far, I often neglect my writing, the one talent that I really want to cultivate.
My writing itself can be highly influenced as well. I know what my style is and what genres I really should stick with, but when I read a great work of art, it makes me want to recreate the magic. When I was reading Harry Potter, I wanted to write the next great fantasy series. When I used to read Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes, I wanted to write a mystery series. Mother Goose and Dr. Seuss make me want to rhyme, and Edgar Allan Poe makes me want to scare people. Reading manga makes me want to write a comic book (even if I can’t draw worth a crap). And in the meantime, while all of these internal monologues rage about what I could write, the projects that I should be working on languish.
Sometimes all this makes me wonder…is there a specific kind of ADD that only attacks writers or other creative types? Maybe I just need some Ritalin. Or some self-discipline. Or another cookie…I just saw another commercial :)