Two ways to prevent one from doing something

March 18, 2011 | By | 2 Replies More

There are two ways to keep a person from doing X.

A) Make it impossible to do X. Make it illegal or expensive or impractical, for instance; or

B) Fill up a person’s life with dozens of other obligations such that he or she no longer has any time to do X.

I’m dealing with B) at the moment. I have a dozen writing projects I’ve been working on, but I can’t get to them because I’m feeling exhausted with all the other things going on in my life. These “distractions” I’ve been doing for the past two weeks are important things that I want to do or I need to do (e.g., spending time with my children and tending to crushing duties at work, such as arguing appeals, writing a brief that was just filed with the United States Supreme Court and reconstructing my workstation at the law office after my hard drive died).

No one is telling me to stop writing, but the result is the same because of all of these other obligations. There are only so many hours in a week. I have only so much energy and focus, and I find that in order to do original writing I absolutely need blocks of several contiguous hours, at a minimum. Those chunks of quality time have disappeared lately. I’m frustrated, because I very much want to follow up on some articles and write some new ones. On the other hand, my life is full and good. I shouldn’t have any complaints, other than I have this urge to try to figure things out, and I do this much better when I write.

In moments like these I’m so glad that I decided to make this website a community of writers, an intersection. But there are also other reasons I chose to make this a community, especially the increased interactions with the other authors–an opportunity to learn from each other.

Bottom line, I’m sending trackbacks here and there to let readers know that I’m still alive, and I hope to be more active at this site soon.


Category: Quality of Life, Writing

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. Mike Baker says:


    I am an avid reader of this forum. As it is I'm always amazed at the amount of time you are able to put into this quite incredible meeting place of free and independent thinkers, while also juggling your responsibilities with family and work.

    I very much appreciate all the work that goes into what you and the other contributing authors present here. The collective wealth of knowledge continually displayed at DI is quite impressive. Critical and unvarnished opinions that are also fair and always open to criticism and the free exchange of thought.

    I find myself often forwarding these impressive articles to family and friends, especially the "fair and balanced" ones who may be in need of some alternative viewpoints.

    Too all of you. Keep up the great work you are doing! And Erich, I'm sure no one here would fault you for taking a break. Just don't make it too long. 🙂

    – Mike

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Mike: Thanks so very much for the encouragement. I often struggle with what it means to be "fair," so I appreciate your comment that we seem to be on target in that regard. Others would vehemently disagree with you, as you probably know.

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