I have this GREAT story I want to tell you about, and … Oh darn. Can you hold on for a second?
Okay, I’m back. Where were we? Right. This GREAT story. It has this amazing plot and you won’t believe… whoops. Sorry. Gotta go again. I’ll be right back.
Here I am. Sorry about that. I’ve got this friend. You probably know her. She’s great — always around when I want to talk, the first to tell me interesting news, and when I need a laugh or advice, she’s right there. But between you and me, the problem is, hanging with her makes it almost impossible to get anything else done. Like writing. Or concentrating. So, what were we talking about again?
Does this sound familiar to you? If you replace the word ‘friend’ with ‘Facebook’ or ‘the Internet’ I’ll bet the answer is yes.
A few weeks ago I was trying to write. My email program kept dinging, reminding me I had new mail; I could hear Facebook burbling away on the posts I had followed; and one of my favorite authors had a new blog post up I couldn’t wait to read (so I did).
Shortly thereafter I realized that if the Internet took human form, I could arrest it for stalking.
Seriously. Most of us wouldn’t tolerate this type of interruption from real people — if a friend did this, calling us every fifteen minutes, constantly stopping by during time we’d set aside to work, we’d pull the plug on that relationship. But we’ll allow ourselves to be derailed by cute pet pictures, celebrity wedding photos, and memes telling us how important it is to stay focused.
[pullquote]I realized that if the Internet took human form, I could arrest it for stalking.[/pullquote]
I think it is because writing is hard, and writers have always looked for an excuse to put off putting their butts in the chair. Before the Internet, the excuses weren’t nearly as much fun, or as easily accessible. Magazine or book reading eventually came to an end. Friends, desperate to get their own work done, hung up the phone. But with the Internet, the reading and chatting can go on forever, or at least as long as we have a connection. [Read more…]