20-Something, Hipstercrite Life, Writing

We Are Squirrels


Along the same lines of my recent post about Millennials and their work ethic, “The Generation of the Confused Working Class“, here is me going blah blah blah some more about the terrible “problems” my generation faces. 

I have the attention span of a squirrel on cocaine.
This is a recent development.
As a child, I was way too self-involved to be distracted by anything.
Being an only child will do that to you.
Sitting for several hours by yourself talking to Trolls will do that to you.

Now that I’m a big kid, I’m self-involved, society-involved, media-involved, and technology-involved.
Now my head is filled with a million notions of what has been and what could be.
Now I drink to make the voices stop.

On-set ADD sucks ass- and I don’t even have ADD. I’m one of those self-diagnosed folks. You know, the ones that figure it’s easier to give a name to something they won’t take responsibility for? Like totally flaking on your friend’s wedding shower because you decided your time was better spent alphabetizing your CD collection that you don’t listen to and when you get to the letter “G” you take a nap for three hours, then wake up and decide that you want pepperoni rolls so you go to the store and buy pepperoni, cheese, and Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and make pepperoni rolls and you realize you feel really tired still and go back to sleep and you wake up around 4AM with cheese in your belly button and a couple of missed calls from your friends wondering where the hell you are.

My Dad has ADHD. He likes to talk about it a lot. Sometimes I’ll call him and say, “Hey, thanks. I think you gave me whatever you have” and hang up. Or we’ll be talking and he’ll say, “Well, you know, I told my manager to F off when he asked me to audition for a commercial where I dress as a chicken all because of my ADHD,” and I’m like, “Dad, that doesn’t even make any sense. You told your manager to buzz off because you didn’t want to dress as a chicken. What does that have to do with ADHD?” Truthfully, I think my Mom is the one with ADHD. She spends about half of our conversations talking to the dog:

“Lauren, I heard on the news that the weather in Austin is going to be Lucy!”
“The weather is going to be Lucy?”
“You’re such a crazy little girl!”
“Get out of my armpit! She’s in my armpit!”
“Mom, most of the time I completely tune out when you lecture me about the weather but now I need to know!”
“Can you believe that I got Operation Dumbo Drop on DVD for $5 yesterday?”
“Do you even like that movie?”
“Of course! Ray Liotta is so handsome. Isn’t he, Lucy? Isn’t he???”

I’ve gotten away from the point I’m trying to make here.
What I want to discuss is that sometimes my creative well is dried up as an old lady’s cooter and sometimes the creative juices are flowing as freely a…dear God, staying focused on this post is difficult. I’ve so far answered 7 phone calls, tweeted 4 times, went pee pee once, and stared at myself in the bathroom mirror while I counted gray hairs once. No, twice.

OK, the point I’m trying to get to is that sometimes I have a million little creative projects I want to do and I don’t know where to begin so I become paralyzed and don’t do any of them and wake up to finding cheese in my belly button.

I like when I have a million little creative things to do. I feel like a Ninja Turtle newly ramped up on pizza and ready to fight crime. Ready to take on the world with new found piss and vinegar. Is that an expression? I’m ready to take on the world with vinegar and then I start thinking about all the things I want to do and the vinegar becomes fermented. Or is vinegar already fermented? So I sit there and I get super anxious because my head is swimming with a bunch of ideas and I just can’t move. Then I get on Facebook. I’ve tried prioritizing my creative projects before but I just want to do them all at once. I HAVE TO DO IT ALL RIGHT NOW. Write freelance article #1, write freelance article #2, finish screenplay #1 that I started in high school, work on weird art project that I had a dream about and feel as though I should follow through on, blog redesign, learn to sew and sell shit on Etsy, write screenplay #2 that you wrote 10 pages of last week, invent some iPhone app even though you know zilch about programming and code or whatever the hell apps are made out of, finish novel, write song about how you will never finish any of these things.

I see this behavior all the time. It’s not just me.
Everyone in LA is “working on a script”, everyone in Austin is “working on an album”, and everyone in New York is “working on an art piece”. We start things and never finish them. Then we start something else and then something else and then we delude ourselves and others into thinking that some day we’ll actually be that screenwriter, that musician, or that artist. Why do we get distracted? I’m pretty sure it’s because of all this newfangled technology, but how does someone who wants to become a professional blogger, who depends on the Internet and social media, not let all that jazz distract her?

Phew. 14 hours later blog post complete.

Do you have problems focusing on your creative endeavors? What do you do to prioritize your creative projects?

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  • Reply IT (aka Ivan Toblog) April 26, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Oh, look!
    A squirrel.

  • Reply Ashley April 26, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Are we related?

  • Reply Guise Faux April 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    At least it's not lupus.

  • Reply Jessica April 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I'm a compulsive list-maker since I also tend to take on too much at one time. Now, after a lot of self-discipline, I only tackle one project at a time.

  • Reply The Writer Currently Known as Rory April 26, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    I see this behavior all the time. It's not just me.
    Everyone in LA is "working on a script"

    Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

    A few years ago, a friend of mine took me with him to 20th Century Fox to the office of producer Ralph Winter for a making-of documentary he had to do for an independent film and was interviewing someone in that office on-camera. I remember one of the assistants at that office were still there, and there was a script in one of her desk drawers. I've no doubt it was hers.

    Since I'm 30 miles north of Los Angeles in the Santa Clarita Valley, I don't think I'd count, even though this valley is pretty much Hollywood's backlot (NCIS films here, though I'm not sure how "Hollywood" that would be considered), but I'm probably the only one around here not working on a script. Plays, yes, and a few books, but not a script. I don't have the interest or stomach for that.

  • Reply JennyJenJen April 26, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    i love you.

    is that too much?

    i wait until the very last minute, where i am so stressed out and pressed for time i need a xanax to quell the anxiety shakes and then, somehow, POOF. brilliance. or yeah.. something.

  • Reply Ludwig April 26, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I don't know how many times I've said to myself "I have an awesome idea for my next painting," or "Ok, I'm gonna draw this weekend, something, anything" and never follow through. I feel like Netflix and Reddit suck all my time & creativity away 🙁

  • Reply Cathy Benavides April 26, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    I agree with JennyJenJen- I work best under pressure. If I try to do stuff early, I have too much time to doubt myself and change it and start over. So i just wait until the last moment and them the surge of panic-fillaed adrenaline propels me to brilliance. It works well though I think the stress is taking years off of my life and making my hair fall out…..

  • Reply Big Mark 243 April 26, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Oh to be young, attractive and talented again! All I can say is focus harder and try to manage your company so that you can culitvate a circle of friends doing something instead of talking about what they want to do. You will be able to tell who these people are because they pub crawl less and take fewer opportunites to blow of the day doing hipster sham stuff.

    All the stuff you spoke of doing, the script in particular, deserves your attention. There is something about being focused on one thing that brings diversity into a life… so get something done and learn from the process… and study others who seem to get things done.

    That is about as witty as I can be today… this kind of distractedness is fun only for so long… I would have hated to have reached my age without reach for the stars as often as I have…

    …again… it is only cool for so long to not be doing and to talk about 'not doing'… write a script, a book or do spoken word… act (you are attractive enough..!) but don't keep letting these moments slip away…


  • Reply tennysoneehemingway April 27, 2011 at 12:28 am

    I was going to comment on this but then I thought I should probably work on my novel a little more, so I went to open that up but then I thought, no I should write that comment but as I was doing that, I noticed my drums set up in the corner and I played on them for a while so, in the end, I didn't comment on this at all. Sorry.

  • Reply Brooke Farmer April 27, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Right now I feel like we are the exact same person.


    The ONLY creative thing that I can (usually) get through with any kind of ease is my blog posts. And that is mainly because there isn't anything all that creative about them. I just spew my wonky life onto the screen and then go back to living it.

    Novels are daunting. Poetry projects end up being way more involved than expected. SLR cameras cost too much, but I look them up on ebay constantly because I want one so bad so I can do the photo project that's in my head. And I get overwhelmed by all the things I WANT to do and then end up doing nothing.

    If you find the way to resolve this please let me know?

  • Reply Vanessa April 27, 2011 at 1:33 am

    Haha, I love this post and it's soooooo true. P.S. I'm totally a crazy dog lady, and may be exactly like your mother, haha.

  • Reply bard April 27, 2011 at 10:07 am

    In addition to finding a great deal of humor in this entry, I LOVE that picture!

  • Reply Adria April 28, 2011 at 7:04 am

    I just read this out loud to my boyfriend from across the room and concluded by saying, "I mean even as I read this to you, I went on the computer to respond to two emails and I'm catching up on Blogger, submitting myself for roles, looking at sides for my audition on Saturday, staring at the piece I started writing yesterday, on Twitter, and on StumbleUpon! WHY!?"

    His response:
    "I don't know, but look at the painting I just made on this Faux-Jackson Pollack website I found on Stumble Upon."

    Well…we're all fucked.

  • Reply William April 29, 2011 at 2:25 am

    So totally, completely relatable.

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