Wednesday, July 20, 2011

murdoch, google+, spotify, borders

Now that I have your attention. Christ. I thought summer was supposed to be mellow and drifty. Whimsical, even. So far July has been a shitstorm of information to process, opine on, and carry out. Especially if you're in, ahem, communications. Who would have thought that the time suck of Facebook would seem like a pinch of sand in the hourglass of social networking?

Back, say, twenty-two years ago, when I rented an electric typewriter and hefted it up to my sixth floor walk-up, slammed it down on the kitchen table and extension-corded it to an outlet in the next room whilst my babies crawled and toddled about at my feet, I thought to myself, "I can't wait until my life is free of all these distractions!"


The physical demands of single-parenting two kids under three pales in comparison to the monkey mind default of today's information-obsessed routine. I'm in that weird quagmire of having finished a manuscript (my book is out to editors) and beginning the next (which I've started, but am loath to venture too far into until the publishing world opines on book one). I am ripe for distraction. I have a hard time carrying a concept to its rightful conclusion before being shanghaied by the next bolus of must know abouts.

The result is, I'm walking around feeling largely scatter-brained. I do my work with Tweetdeck shrieking at me in the upper right of my screen. I stop what I'm doing every time I hear the ding of a new Outlook email. No sooner do I wrap my mind around a project, it seems it's time to troubleshoot the latest Facebook conundrum in behalf of my clients.

My days are fragmented by minutiae like never before. I am completely divorced from falling into the dream of story and I just realized that it's making me cranky and anxious and fear-driven. What am I afraid of? Not having enough people in my Google+ circles? Missing out on a Groupon deal?

Clearly, I need to recalibrate. Anyone have any fail-safe ideas on how to do that? Any of you writers/artists out there come up with a way to carve out some time for depth?


  1. I dont't know that I have any magic solutions, but you truly have hit on one of the great dilemmas of writing in the new millenium. Social networking has become an expected part of the writer's duties in building their platform, but it fries the brain and makes it hard to fall into the story.

    BTW your title and lead sentence crcked me up, as I have just begun learning the meta-tag search engine optimization game.

  2. Try writing longhand. You can perfect the type of grandma cursive you find scribbled on loose sheets of paper scattered throughout old recipe books.

  3. Thanks for both of these engaging comments, Cynthia and Max. Cynthia, yes, it's all a lie, isn't it? In service of...what exactly? If you figure it out, do let me know.

    Max, you Renaissance man you, yes, this is a great solution. If only I had legible handwriting. If only I could write in one long line (sort of like half of Madeline) instead of in little bundles all over the fucking page.

    Ah. I will give it some thought.

  4. You could achieve a couple hours of focus time if you switch off the internet connection (and phone). I should listen to my own advice, I get distracted so easily!

  5. I have a plan! Mid August. Three glorious days off-grid in a mt. paradise. Just me and my scribbles.


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