Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Death Match: Discipline vs. Distraction

100_2496I used to be a disciplined writer. Now, too often, I’m a distracted one.

When I first started writing fiction, I sat down at my computer and banged the keys for a few hours every day. It was all about the words and the story and reaching my daily quota.

There was no Facebook.

There was no Twitter.

There was no blogging.

I didn’t belong to any listservs. Or Yahoo groups. Or on-line forums.

There was no Google+. Or Tumblr. Or Foursquare. Or a bunch of other things I don’t know anything about, but fear I’m getting left behind on.

There was email, but I wasn’t getting a whole lot of it (a benefit of not having many friends).

Now, it’s a wonder I can concentrate on one thing long enough to finish a…hey, look, Ashton Kutcher just Tweeted something clever! LOL!

Of course, there’s a lot more on plate today. I’m writing one project, while promoting another, while assisting with production on a third. Before I had a book published, I wasn’t worried about designing my website or producing bookmarks or developing stand-up routines. I didn’t have to “book” appearances or proof galleys or write pithy bios that make me sound a lot more accomplished than I am.

If it sounds like I’m complaining, I’m really not. I know I’m very fortunate to be where I am. I’m just a bit peeved with myself for letting my priorities get skewed at times (yes, it’s my own gosh durned fault). While I realize that promoting and all the other ancillary book production activities are vital, it sucks time away from the good part.

The writing.




Lois Winston said...

Alan, please tell me you really don't follow Ashton Kutcher on Twitter!

Jessica Lourey said...

I recommend becoming independently wealthy, Alan. It makes everything so much easier, supposedly.

Barring that, I recommend big ol' 1970s headphones and an electric shock when you feel drawn toward social media. Works for me. I'm getting zapped right now, but it's worth it.

Keith Raffel said...

Alan, I am so easily diverted by the Internet that I write at a cafe where I have no access to it. Something for you to try?

Alan Orloff said...

Lois - I don't really follow Ashton Kutcher on Twitter. Although...

Jess - You know, becoming independently wealthy is always the top item on my to-do list.

Keith - I'd have to retrieve my beret from the attic.

Robin Allen said...

I have a little netbook that write on while sitting on my couch. I've stripped all the games from it and it's not connected to the internet. If I want to check email or Amazon sales, I have to get up and walk into my office, so I mostly just stay put on the couch. Of course my current knitting project is on the couch, too, so there's that.

Darrell James said...

There's got to be some kind of pill for it! Don't you think?

Kathleen Ernst said...

Alan, repeat after me: Computer on, web access off. Computer on, web access off. (Not that I'm so great at that myself...)

Alan Orloff said...

Robin - Thanks. Now I have the urge to take up knitting.

Darrell - Thanks. Now I have the urge to start taking pills.

Kathleen - But what if I get that once-in-a-lifetime email that needs my response immediately? You know, from that rich guy in Nigeria who just needs a little cash in order to wire me his fortune?

G.M. Malliet said...

I enjoy the break from work to see what's up, especially over at Twitter. I think I follow Ashton and Demi but he's/she's been quiet lately.

Deborah Sharp said...

I am SO with you on everything you've said here. You tell it, brother!