What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
What an interesting question. I never considered that part of being a writer involves a little insanity from time-to-time.
For me, the biggest challenge is time management, and fighting the anxiety over potentially missing a special promotional opportunity or failing to respond to that all-important email. In order to maintain my sanity, I need to find some time away from the computer and all facets of writing, and remember that I have a family and other obligations. It’s so easy to lose an entire day, answering the mountain of emails, commenting on all the blog links I receive, and voting for covers and trailers, or just chatting with those “faceless” friends who have become my sisters and brothers in this industry.
I do become a “raving maniac” when family members intimate that my time spent sitting at this desk is merely playtime and hours wasted. I can’t make them understand that with each contracted book comes the responsibility of promotion and marketing…keeping my name and titles in the public eye and striving to stay atop the mountain of releases that “dump” into the "publishing" pond every single day.
But how does one commit to being away from something they so enjoy?
When I received my current issue of Reader’s Digest, I was drawn to their article on Gadget Mania. It appears that no only writers are dealing with on-line issues. I quote the following from their article:
The average number of digital devices in each household = 20
43% of adults think they spend too much time online.
64% of adults think their kids spend too much time online.
18% of adults have organized or considered a tech-free day.
The average number of hours spend online at home each day = 5
1 in 16 kids under age 5 has a Facebook page.
78% of our children stay up past their bedtime because they’re online.
The average number of mobile phones in each household = 3
86% of us now feel more informed and knowledgeable because of the Internet.
Is it any wonder that we are suffer from a little insanity from time-to-time? We’re launching our children into a techno world before they can even understand Facebook. We’re giving them cell phones because their friends have them, and smart phones keep the Internet at our fingertips. We allow our children to stay online because it entertains them and keeps them out of our hair, and we imagine they are learning from their online experiences.
Is there any doubt why writers like me are addicted? Now that my children are grown and gone, I have even more time to spend on the Internet. But, for empty nesters like me, my computer is my gateway to my friends. I’m a loner at home, but if you give value to the people I’ve met online who have changed my life, then I’m a millionaire, and not really insane at all.
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