On Overload

It's not that I have anything against any one of the networking communities that have sprung up like fire ant mounds after a heavy rain here in the South. My Space serves its purpose, as do all the rest of them. But then you add in the virtual bookshelf communities where you supposedly talk lit with your friends, not to mention the bulletin boards, chat rooms, and, yes, the blogs where a web-savvy author "ought" to be out schmoozing in furtherance of The Cause. Oh, and let's not forget Second Life, where virtual authors have been known to hawk their wares to virtual readers.

I'm feeling fragmented, splintered by the geometric progression of online communities. Or maybe pixelated is the correct term for this Twenty-first Century "disease."

Whatever it is, this author is declaring a rebellion, and here's my manifesto.

From this point forward, I want to be about the depth of focus: in the work I do, the relationships I nurture, and the literature I read. Rather than skimming the surface to do one hundred things poorly, I will strive to do one well. I will be mindful of the satisfaction found in doing work to the best of my ability and I will stop regretting those peripheral things I choose to let go.

In choosing activities to promote my work, I will keep those I enjoy and have the time and will to do effectively and forget about the others. I will banish the words "going through the motions" from my vocabulary.

I will walk in the sunshine, breathe in the air, and live in the real world rather than its virtual equivalent.

Amen... Well, um, as soon as I check my e-mail.

Hey, Rome wasn't built in a day. But that doesn't mean it was never built at all.


Joni Rodgers said…
I hear ya, sister. I err on the side of hermitage, but I do think it's important to sort out the networking ops on the web. There are a few forums that I really enjoy and through which I've connected with some terrific writers, but trying to keep up with the conversations started occupying so much of my mental real estate, I decided about three years ago to ration -- one month per year on each. This year the only one I rejoined was the Well.

I envy you the fabulous community that is RWA, a real life group of motivated pros.
Elen Grey said…

Where can I take the pledge, Colleen?
Consider yourself signed up, Elen!

And Joni, I agree that it's all about prioritizing!
Lark said…
Or you can spend time de-toxing in cell-free, email free Marfa. Which I did after a couple of weeks without internet access in France earlier in October. For someone whose day job is lived on email, online and on computers, it was tough going cold turkey but worth the agony. If only I could stay clear and tech-sober.....
Gillian Layne said…
I am overwhelmed by technological obligations and groups--even as I value their advice and friendship. And I'm not even involved in Facebook, which my teenagers tell me is a huge indication of how "behind" I am. Sigh.

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