It’s a bummer that I can’t do my two great loves at the same time: write and listen to tunes. It might surprise you to know that writing doesn’t come easy to me. Maybe it’s just how my mind works, but for me, coherent writing requires concentration and focus, and my best writing requires emotional presence.

The problem is, music affects me emotionally, and I simply can’t be emotionally connected to two things at once. Maybe others can, but I can’t. Of course, I can listen to classical or something else I’m not crazy about as background while I write, or listen to stuff I love and write garbage, but then, what would be the point?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually one hell-of-a multitasker, but only physical and logical tasks, nothing emotional.

When I watch a movie, I love immersing myself in the experience and detaching from reality. My wife is just the opposite; she likes to crack open her Macbook and do stuff at the same time. I can see her out of the corner of my eye and it just blows it for me. It drives us both crazy.

That actually explains a lot, like why I only cry at movies. Also why I can’t remember any of the films that came out when I was young. I saw them all on dates, and all I could focus on was trying to make a move on the girl next to me in the theater and, well, enough about that.

I know that’s probably strange. Come to think of it, I don’t know that. I’ve only been inside one person’s head; I have no idea how anybody else’s mind works. So tell me, am I weird? The bigger question is, aside from seeing a shrink, how can any of us know if there’s something really wrong with us?

Now it’s back to work on the book; Jane’s Addiction and Liz Phair will have to wait.

Image credit Brennan Degan via Flickr

  • Steve Eckhardt

    Wierd? Nah. If you want some insight on why your mind works the way it does, try reading Tony Attwood’s “The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome”. If my hunch is correct, you’ll have more than one aha moment. Your wife might also find the book profitable reading.

  • Dirk Duden

    You concentrate, simple as that. The less multitasking, the better you concentrate. Point. As a pilot I never listen to music when flying any aircraft. When writing or reading neither. And certainly not when talking with or listening to someone. My wife hums when she scuba dives : concentration does not imply you cannot relax and enjoy. Better do one thing and do it well. As long as you are yourself, weird is fine. Just keep writing.

  • BigGameHunter

    Steve,
    Take heart. Here is a bomb-proof, indisputable acid test for determining weirdness. Are you a CNN host or journalist? If the answer is NO, then you are not weird.

  • Gary Dumais

    Not weird at all – you’re just being honest (but perhaps nowadays that’s being a little weird). But to build upon some of the other comments, there is research that shows that multitasking is very difficult for most people…and the best work usually comes from people who concentrate on one matter at a time. In addition, it’s widely know that emotion can interfere with logical decision-making…so, again, not weird!