Things happen occasionally that cause us to pause and examine what we are doing with our lives. At least for me – in my little life – I hope they do, because unlike my friend Adrian who keeps her Slow Dance Journal, I am unable to sustain, for endless stretches, a calm attentiveness to my priorities. The thorny brambles of self-imposed gotta-do’s and inescapable obligations grow before me until I can no longer distinguish my path. At least twice a year, I must force myself to retrieve the machete from the shed and whack away until I uncover that path and can again see my way clear. When I neglect to do this of my own volition, life does it for me.
. . . And so it went, two weekends ago, when I rushed my husband to the emergency room with an attack of appendicitis. I can hear some of you: It was only appendicitis! Why the melodrama? Well, while it thankfully never became life-threatening, the surgery was not a ‘normal’ procedure. Those four days in the hospital, I camped out in an abomination of a recliner beside his bed, attempting to sleep when he slept and trying to keep up on work (‘thanks’ to laptop and wifi) – but still I had a lot of time to think.
I am sharpening my machete this weekend. The brambles have been choking me. I am examining the overgrowth to determine what deserves chopping first. Some things I will pull out at the roots and rid myself of completely. Some I will cut back to the ground and allow to lie dormant until a time when I can manage their growth. What I allow to remain must be those things that will enhance my walk through life, not get in my way.
Trying to figure out what to do with this blog has been one of the thorny brambles. If I heed the advice of the social media experts, the efforts they demand would require me to quit my bill-paying-day-job just to keep up with it and do it ‘right’. Not an option, at least not right now.
The publishing industry and the book world in general are experiencing massive transformation on an almost daily basis as bookstores fold, publishers question the need for their existence; writers increasingly keep control of their own material through self-publishing and e-books, and by managing their own marketing and publicity; and agents try to determine where they fit in. Everyone is trying to figure out technology’s role in all of this. It is both the cause and the effect. It helps and hinders. It can either be a guiding element on our path as writers or a brier that trips us up.
So how do you use technology? Do you find it to be an enhancement in your life or an annoying distraction? Feel free to share any suggestions you have for how to co-exist with it or survive without it.
And if you have 6 minutes and 10 seconds, check out the You Tube video “you need to get off Facebook.” Pay attention to the dude’s subtle facial expressions and remember who your friends are. Writers also may want to learn How To Stop The Internet From Sabotaging Your Writing Routine.
Till next time!