It occurs to me to ask if this tendency to be distracted to the point where I can neither start, nor finish writing a paragraph is a personal quirk, or one characteristic of my entire generation, but the problem with that is that I just. Don't. Care. To.
It's not my job to analyze my generation, and I think you would agree with me that most days it's not my job to analyze even myself. I just received an email telling me to follow some people on Twitter (on a twitter account I've created for a fictional character in a book I'm going to write sometime this year (@The_Lord_Zod)), I not only checked that email, but looked into some of those organizations and started following them. I just Googled "Define Proclivity."
Is this proclivity of my generation toward perpetual distractedness a good thing, or a bad thing? Our minds are always in the moment, focused on what we are doi - and half focused on what we think we need to do in a minute. We've been taught by our parents, late Baby Boomers and early Gen-X-ers that have found the magic and mystery of The Career, to keep our minds focused on our life goals, to move forward with single-minded devotion to our purpose. I don't think that's possible to do in the same way it used to be. Don't get me wrong, I've been working on my book for the past five years, and have a nearly completed a draft that I'm proud of, and am looking forward to further revising it and shopping it to agents and publishers in the future, but have I been moving forward with single-minded devotion to it? No. Hell no.
And the book has benefited from that distraction.
In the five years it's taken me to research and draft the book, I struggled through a 3-year relationship that was more down than up, with a girl who did not support the book's very idea to the point that she called me a heretic for it at one point (honestly, I'm over it), had more encounters with the police and jail than I'm comfortable with, started dating the woman I've been in love with for years, and am preparing to propose to her. In short, LIFE happened in those five years. Not only have I grown as a person, I have also developed the emotional depth to have written an ending to the book that would never have occurred to me, had I attempted to finish the book two, or three years ago. I just got myself a bowl of - I just Googled the correct spelling of Cap'n Crunch - Cap'n Crunch with Crunch Berries.
(P.S. This post was written to the music of Ronald Jenkees, who is remarkable and talented. Seriously, look up his stuff, and prepare to be [insert word here that means "impressed, but not exploding out of your mind with desire to spread the Word of Ronald Jenkees"]. Now that I think about it, I don't think there IS a single word that means that. Oh well.)
I guess the point I'm trying to make here (if I'm actually making a point) is that the old ways of life are dying, and not a slow, drawn-out death, either. Technology is advancing at a rate that is alarming to me, and I'm supposed to be one of those "kids" that are up with these things. That's right, we don't know what's going on, either, half of the time (you totally couldn't tell, could you?). Our world is changing beneath our feet - a thing that started with puberty, and I'm fairly sure won't ever stop - with the rapid rise and fall of things before we even knew they were things. We may be "just babies" to you all, but we're growing up, and it's up to us to decide what that means (to quote one of my favorite Xkcd comics).