• Log off facebook and twitter
  • Sign out of gmail
  • write in a journal instead of straight into Microsoft Word

These are methods I execute when trying to write poems, screenplays, or initiate any type of artistic pursuit. Recently I’ve begun to take an increased interest in the impact of online domains on people’s creative processes, particularly my own.   When I log on to facebook, I am instantly made aware of someone’s third book release, another person’s acceptance into a literary journal, acceptance into a school, their new boyfriend, etc. The same can be said for twitter and gchat to some extent. I’m inspired by this news, for it points to the successes of artists and people in their lives. However, it also furthers the feeling that everything is happening “right now!,” that good things are constantly happening for everyone and if they’re not happening for me, something’s wrong. The fact is, when you’re an emerging artist trying to accomplish difficult feats, things rarely happen “right now” for you. You have to wait. At times for long periods. So just because our technology has sped up immensely, the process of life, of creating and becoming, has stayed the same.  How does that impact people living in this age? Put simply, (and citing my own experience), I am making progress and accomplishing alot, but not at live-tweet speed.

Ten years ago, I would not be writing this. I would be mailing in writing submissions to journals, not emailing them. I would await a letter in the mail, notifying me of my acceptance or rejection from the journal, rather than receive an email on gmail, which while personal, seems all the more public when I peer at my 25 gchat friends’s status’ on the side of my inbox. I would have nothing to log-on to that would distract me from writing my first draft poem or screenplay. This is not merely a nod to past as much as it is a way to consider the differences in people’s patience levels and their abilities to sustain themselves for large amounts of time without receiving any good news; to create without added online distractions.

When I’m on social networking sites, I notice there’s always an increased need to “share” and update. As an emerging artist, I don’t always have something to share. I’m figuring out life, waiting to hear back from folks about film ideas, budgets, screenplays, writing journals, and checking my email only to see no one sent me anything or returned the emails I sent one month ago. I log on to facebook and am pulled into a world of good news in which I want to share something inherently “good” or funny regarding my life and/or achievements.

I may be the only person who experiences this, but since I strive to remain honest in all of my writing, I wanted to share my thoughts. Or perhaps I can blame my interest in this on my theoretical degree in mass communications. Who knows. But while online forums have made many things convenient and easy, they also contribute to alot of mental clutter. When I sit down to write or think, this clutter doesn’t serve me well. I recently read a NY Times article that cited a study of people’s increased reliance on constant, rapid spurts of information via twitter, facebook, and email. Not a good look… I’m attempting to find a balance. Until then, I’m signing off.

I would love to read your thoughts on this post. Please chime in!