Okay. Okay. I have no idea what a gnat’s attention span actually is. But I’m sure that the buzzy little suckers have nothing on me.

Life has been full of distractions, lately. Wet walls to dry out. Resumes to email. Calls to answer. Boxes to pack. Emotions to wrestle. An August-in-July heatwave. And the writing is feeling the effects.

To sit with the chapter in the waiting laptop—that’s an “A” for effort. If I were being paid by the minute, I’d be rich by now. Finding the productivity…well, that’s something else.

A minute at the page, a minute of distraction: forces that pull with equal gravity. A sentence, a paragraph, then the need to go check on the progress of a drying wall. Or email to consider. Or a cat to distract from claws-in-furniture. Oh, did I mention that I forgot to eat?

I don’t pretend that this a-little-here-a-little-there process is anything like polishing a diamond. More often, it seems more like treading water one stroke at a time to keep from drowning. Or like ADD in an anthill. My overcrowded brain will barely let me carry a idea an arm’s length from the page to think it over at leisure. The page is the house of thought that is distractingly busy, with no room to go off alone in the quiet.

I want the silent, welcoming room to come back. The one in which the ideas whisper. The one in which nothing else speaks to me but the who and the what of the story. I want nights that aren’t treadmill nights, that don’t leave me exhausted when I wake. I want the simple. I want the confident calm of one thing at a time.

And that’s the problem. When you have the attention span of a gnat, one sentence at a time is all you can manage. Could someone please hit me over the head with something heavy—just long enough to help me reboot?