I read a lot online. Blogs, articles, forums, humour sites, random research. I spend a lot of time on my computer, and have for most of my life. Wouldn’t trade that for the world, either, because the kinds of opportunities which come from being on the internet are incomparable.
But sometimes, I’ll be reading something. Often of the writing/publishing nature, since we all tend to get a little obsessive over that at times. And I will think to myself, “Why am I reading this instead of doing something productive?”
I love learning. Acquiring knowledge. The reason I spend so much time online is because there is so much available. I’ve been known to spend days straight consuming a good blog, or disappear a six hour block following links around Wikipedia. Funny enough, while I do check on things like Facebook regularly, I don’t spend a whole lot of time there (unless someone catches me on the chat function while I’m not looking).
But there are little triggers. I’ll read something, and for a myriad of reasons, it will make me wonder why I’m not doing something else. It’s not a guilt complex; everything I do has its reasons, and I’m okay with that for the most part. It might be partly an avoidance technique; I’m in the middle of a lot of things, and what I should work on isn’t necessarily what I’m most drawn to. But really, I suppose I just want to have something tangible for my time and brainpower. Knowledge can’t be tallied like words or stitches added to a project, so even while I value what I’m reading and experiencing, I feel I will have nothing to show at the end of it.
Which is ridiculous. If I didn’t have all this knowledge accumulated, these observations of humans and their thoughts and behavioural patterns, I wouldn’t be able to apply that to my stories. Which is pretty integral.
All the same, I’m going to draw a line this weekend. Get some serious work done and knock out a few of the smaller projects I’ve been dragging my feet over. I will say I have enough information to cover me for those two days, cut off my reading of things until Monday.
6 thoughts on “Sometimes I wonder”
“cut off my reading of things” –I just fainted.
If it helps, I read a novella before work today! I stocked up!
Unless you’re being gross and imagining me gouging out eyeballs or something. You would think that, Al. No, I need my eyes for writing. 😉
I know how you feel — I find myself asking the same thing as I’m reading things: why am I doing this? For me, the answers are so complicated and boring all at the same time… but the bottom line is if I ask that question, I should stop, right? And there’s where the complicated part comes in. Like you, I’ve started drawing lines, too. Otherwise there’s just no end!
I’m glad I’m not the only one! Yes, the reasons are always complicated and banal. I think finding a happy medium is all about practice.
I spend far too much time online. It does have its rewards–like learning a thing or two about the business of writing, and meeting other writers.
But other than publishing a new blog post last week, I basically quit the internet for the last week-and-a-half. The result? I finally finished what had been a verrry slow rewrite of my newest novel. Unfortunately, I will be spending the next week catching up on everything I’ve missed.
Yep. Sometimes you have to draw the line. Problem is, it’s a very thin one.
Congratulations on finishing the rewrite, Sherry! It’s wonderful when we can put our foot down and get some positive results. I’m aiming to find a really happy medium, where I can choose a time to just stop using the internet and do other things, but it’s habitual to come here and do our online things. My recent online forays PLUS a steadily growing word count on a short story (maybe novella) indicates I’m not doing too bad with this goal. 😉
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