One morning last month, I woke early, finished a book I'd been reading, and shut down my blog. I had kept the blog for nearly five years, using it as a repository for personal anecdotes, travelogues, and the occasional flight of fiction—all of which I hoped, eventually, might lead to a novel. And then, somewhere between the bedsheets and 6 a.m., I realized something: Blogging wasn't helping me write; it was keeping me from it.
In my other life I work as a writer, so this gives me pause for thought. God knows, the small amount of bogging I do doesn’t interfere too much with my work. In fact, I justify it to myself by thinking of it as a mental warm up exercise some mornings. There is a far more serious time waster for writers. Computers. And the internet. Much as I love them both I would not like to see the hours I spent sitting in front of my monitor added up. My first computer in the mid 1990s was an Amstrad PCW. I know that it barely qualifies for the term computer but to me it was a wonder. No more Tippex , no more cutting and pasting with scissors and sellotape. Think of all the saved hours! But the saved hours disappeared down the worm hole of cyberspace. Not that I’m complaining. I would never go back to harsh clicks of an electric typewriter. Images of smoke and the metal sounds of the industrial revolution came into my head there. We are in a transition period. Of a generation that knew the old ways, fascinated by the new but not yet able to make full use of it. I keep trying to use voice dictating programs but don’t stick with them, the mind to keyboard line is too ingrained. That’s just one example of not making the leap. There’s still time.