Tag Archives: calamity

Clarity versus Calamity

Extremes can provide a lot of insight. When there’s nothing but chaos, you have strong thoughts that stand out among the rest, and when all is calm and the waters are steady, it’s hard to miss the one or two things that dare to stir up the waves.

Distractions are the fuel of chaos. They are loud noises from the television or family, surrounding you no matter what part of the building or house you’re in, they’re things happening outside, or a conversation in the other room that demands your attention because of how loud the person is on one end. They’re the thirty tabs you have open in your browser, or the game that’s been begging you to play it for the past few days, not to mention the little apps on your phone that you can’t ignore, or friends texting constantly…

Above all, it’s the noise in your head that you can’t turn down.

Some people thrive in the calamity. They can pick out an idea and run with it, letting the other noise help them to a speedy finish. A phrase that goes, “the story writes itself,” can happen in either the calmest time or the most chaotic. Tuning out the noise can either help or hurt, but either way, finding a way to hear your thoughts is always the same.

This happens more often than not lately for me, and my go-to fix for it has been to plug in music and drown out the noise, and force myself to focus, even if it means sacrificing attention to something else (family member, more often than not, only if it’s not inappropriate).

Clarity and calm, after being elusive, is a welcome retreat from the chaos that may have erupted around you. When the noise is so loud in your head that you can’t calm it down enough to focus, enough to sit and write something out, it’s hard to get much of anything done when it’s not mindless work.

In the middle of it all, you may find something easier to write. Your thoughts, some random, rapid-fire brainstorming, but nothing you have to force, something that may come easily. That little bit of saving grace among the pots banging and the thoughts clashing that goes on in your mind can come from simple things, typically.

Days like this are mercifully rare for me, but when they come, they wreck havoc. Distractions, however, are very healthy, though at work, writing is the distraction, especially when firemen run into the building because of the fire panel going off. For others, loudly singing roommates and bright, rather obnoxious and simple shows make it very difficult to get any focus or work done.

This post is late because of distractions and personal trouble writing, so thank you for bearing with me (even if you haven’t). Also, happy 50th post! Yay!

-The Novice Wordsmith


Focus is shot, relaxation is really scarce right now and I can’t just sit down and come up with thoughts that aren’t all over the place.

Days like this affect everything, and sometimes it’s more than just a day. You scramble to come up with something, you’re searching all over for something that can help you think better and get your head together, and you turn up with empty hands and more frustration. To call it a bad day would be taking credit away from the good things that have happened, but it’s hard not to when all you can seem  to do is swat at thoughts as they race through your head.

I don’t have a cure for this, still, but sitting down and listening to music has helped before. When you force yourself to just get out what’s in your head, sometimes it can be more successful than others. You want to write something specific before, but then when you shake out your head, there’s a specific something that’s stuck, that you can really let go about.

If you can afford it, don’t worry about certain writing obligations on days like these. And if you can write at all, do it to your heart’s content, whatever can be shook out. Grab hold of whatever you can and don’t let go until it’s all gone.

Just in case you find your head too hectic to actually write, don’t. Forcing it isn’t going to be enjoyable or even yield very many results, and if anything, it’ll make things more sluggish, taking longer.

It’s been hard trying to come up with something today, one of those days for me. I’ve gone through several good topics and came up with just about nothing until now, but there’s nothing I can do but ride it out. Tomorrow will be better. I’ll have a clearer head, one that’s not just running wild with ideas and thoughts and what have you about everything else going on in my life.

Don’t be afraid to take days like these off and return to writing when you can. It’s so much better when you have clarity. At least, in my opinion, though I’m sure there are those that thrive in the calamity.

I am, however fortunately or unfortunately, not one of them.

-The Novice Wordsmith