I didn’t mean that…

Since my post yesterday called Writing and the Internet, I’ve received several “goodbye” emails and a couple of comments that indicated the writer thought I was announcing the closure of this blog.

I must apologise for this misunderstanding as closing this blog is the furthest thing from my mind. Whilst I have finally pulled far enough back from the internet to safely say I am no longer addicted to it, I would be lost without it and couldn’t turn my back on it completely. Not yet anyway. Besides, what would I do to fill my days when I’m at work? 😉

My post was actually saying that the intense writing schedule I’ve had for the last five weeks has seen a change in my writing routine. I’ve spent that five weeks writing regularly. I’ve shared an experience with another writer, which has reawakened the writer in me and I am now ready to move seriously along the road to publication again. I’ve said this before, but I fear I’ve done more talking about writing than actual doing it in recent years. The past five weeks has seen me step over the line. I now stand on the writing side, rather than the “talking about it” side. It feels good because I have learned that I can write to a deadline, I can come up with ideas, feedback (good and bad) is accepted with ease, I no longer fall in love with the setting or characters and can delete either without being traumatised, and, more importantly, I did this at a time when life issues could have seen me falling apart. However, I haven’t fallen apart, and my writing is a big reason for that.

No, this blog isn’t going anywhere, but I will be putting regualar writing time before this blog from now on, because I’ve discovered I don’t need the internet as much as I thought I did. I do, however, need to write.

Writing and the Internet

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away there was once a girl who wanted to write. She wrote when her children went to bed. She wrote in her lunch hour. She wrote between putting loads of washing into the machine. Yes, she wrote whenever she had a spare moment and she wrote a lot.

Then one day something mean and nasty barged its way into her home, holding her captive and taking away her writing time. She didn’t fight it, because she was innocent and naïve. She didn’t know the trouble this thing would cause her…until it was too late.

Without thought, she let this monster consume her. She went with it to many places – morning, noon and night. She learned about other writers and she learned about the craft itself. But still she didn’t realise how much control the monster had over her.

Out of the blue, another writer announced the closure of their meeting place. Shocked, the girl asked “why?” over and over again, but she could not absorb the reasoning behind the closure. The writer told her that the monster holding her prisoner was bad and she had found a way of casting aside that evil being.

The girl ignored the warnings and continued on her way. She created a new meeting place and she built a new home for herself. Not satisfied with this home, she built another home and yet another one. All this time, the monster laughed in the background. He had won.

Oblivious to the monster’s glory, the girl continued building new homes, whilst her writing time whittled away to nothing. Every so often strange thoughts swirled around in her head, but the monster was quick to step up and cut them out of her mind forever.

Then, many years later, she received an invitation. The monster was opposed to the invitation and tried to divert the girl’s course, but the invitation had a strong hold over the girl too. A raging battle ensued. The monster and the invitation clashed violently. The girl, not so innocent and unsure anymore, noticed this confrontation. She listened to the monster for only a moment as he tried to urge her back to the normal routine, but then the invitation stepped forward and showed her a new beginning.

The girl hesitated for only a moment and then set on her journey. The monster desperately tried to pull her back into line, but the girl was determined to join forces with the invitation and struggled on.

Finally, the girl remembered the writer who had informed her of the monster’s evil intentions, and this memory helped her find the strength to knock the monster on the head and push him aside forever.

Now, the girl has found renewed interest in her writing and once again her spare time is used to create new, exciting places and characters. She never thought she would have to complete a full circle to learn from her biggest mistake. But she did. Although she’ll never be completely free of the monster’s influence, the invitation grabbed her by the hand and pulled her back to the land of the living.

In short:
I’m still alive and I’m still writing the short story. But I’ve discovered I no longer have the need for intense internet activity. The internet, over the years, has eaten into my writing time so much that I actually lost the passion to write for a while. I believe the last few weeks of writing, rewriting and numerous editing phases have not only given me some of that pleasure back, it has freed me from a beast. A writer writes while other people blog. This is the message I failed to hear some years ago.