Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Good and Bad Distractions

by CWK

There are good and bad distractions.

In a sense, you do want to distract the reader. You want to distract them from their distractions and onto what you have to say. You want to pull their attention away from the 100 other things that are on their minds when they pick up your work. If you work is worthy, then anything that hinders reading is a bad distraction. Anything that makes the reader pay greater attention is a good distraction.

As illustration of this principle...

Charles Spurgeon was once speaking to a congregation when he noticed that people kept coming in and out of the room. Whenever anyone came into the room the crowd’s attention was fixed on that person, and off Spurgeon’s sermon (this is a bad distraction). Spurgeon noticed that the next man who came into the room was a personal friend who wouldn’t mind him taking liberty. So, Spurgeon said, “Since you are so interested in people coming in the room, I will describe them for you.” He went on to described the man’s features and clothes in an amusing way. The audience was at once embarrassed and distracted away from people coming into the room, and back onto what Spurgeon had to say (this is a good distraction).

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