I am a Social Slug. Although I operate this blog—love writing about the craft and interacting with other creative people—I have very little use for the whole “connecting” thing. I am on Facebook, but only at the behest of my children so we can stay-in-touch. That still sounds weird to me; what happened to phone calls or letters? (I can hear the bemoaning now: “What, actually write a letter by hand, put it in an envelope and mail it. Oh, how quaint.”)
I do not do text messages (an annoying process on my flip-phone; I abhor the idea of getting a “smart” phone when the current cell phone dies), am only on Twitter because . . . well, I really don’t know why I am on Twitter except I kept reading it was the “thing.” I signed up for Twitter the same time I signed up for Goodreads and Google and a couple others because it was spoken of over and over again in writer’s forums and blogs, writer talk-groups, at writer’s conventions, etc. Sigh—I succumbed; I doubt I will continue.
I have had no TV cable or satellite for nearly a decade, and cutting the cable remains one of the best things I did for my writing. Nor do I “stream” anything, but I do receive weekly NetFlix DVD’s through the mail.
I’m saddened that what now passes as News was once the fodder of The Enquirer, The Globe, and other inflammatory rags once giggled at when in the check-out line. I have no interest in the lives of the celebrity people whose faces and entitlement personalities bombard the media, nor do I understand how they have millions of “followers” who, to me, seem like lonely people living vicariously through the lives of others. I do not get it, nor do I care to.
I can hear people now: “What a fuddy-duddy; so sad what Rick is missing, losing out on the wide array of things he could become involved in; what a pity.” Pity me not, for instead of reading about other people who have “made it” with each selfie posted for the posterity of their posteriors, I read books and write my own. That, to me, is so much more entertaining, so much more rewarding, and infinitely a better way to spend my time.
Time is precious, and like ice in a glass of tea, melts away far too soon; unlike ice, time can never be re-made.
I encourage you to lessen the ties to the media frenzy. Sure, check your email—maybe therein is an acceptance of a short story or novel you sent—or even check the news, but lessen those ties that bind and threaten to strangle us as surely as a noose. You and your writing will be much better for it.
Go ahead, disconnect—even if for a little while—and write that story that vies for your attention; it will be time better served, and leave a Comment on what you have distanced yourself from for the betterment of your craft.
This Week’s Quote:
“Writing is my time machine, takes me to the precise time and place I belong.” Jeb Dickerson