Saturday, February 23, 2013

Do it Write

Today morning -- a weekend day -- I open my email and read this. Flowstate -- a paid app for the iPad to make you write without distractions.
The app launches with a full-screen editor and a countdown timer. You select the amount of time you want to write and start typing away. Sounds like a pleasant experience until you stop writing to look at your tweets and gasp in horror as your wonderful prose is deleted by the app.
First you buy an iPad or one such tablet with a screen full of iconized distractions -- distractions for writing at least. Then you go about finding apps to close off all such distractions in order to write in it. Why buy a tablet for your writing needs? How we go about inventing ways to complicate our lives; and try to simplify them back through more complications.

Another gentleman wrote a book on such distractions. The Shallows. And blamed our 'pronounced jumpy nature in these browsing times' on our online activities as it 'rewires our brains'. Let online activities 'rewire the brains'. But if it is distracting, why not simply pull the plug instead of over-analyzing such distractions. And get on with what you love to do -- writing, in this case (for my kid, it is reading; she doesn't come near the computer; period).

Is it that we don't want to agree on our lack of self-control so invent ways to shift the blame on the distractions -- online activities. I am reminded of the 'time management' books. Book length schemes and suggestions to manage your -- *your* -- time. When in principle all one needs to manage time is to wake up early; early enough; daily.

When we are passionate about and love to do an activity, we find ways to do it amidst all such 'distractions'. A Neal Stephenson -- one of the tech-savvy fiction writers I have read -- had written one of his (actually a three volume set) thousand and odd pages books with his bare hands -- ink on paper. All in our internet times, as tablets and distractions rewire our grey cells. A proof (from here) that he loves what he does? Coming to think of it, you don't see him on the internet more. Doesn't blog; tweets occasionally; and doesn't blame the internet or 'distractions'. But writes thousand-page delectable fiction as staple.

Years back there was a movie called The Piano; after watching it I wondered how such a simple feeling called Love can be transmogrified by the human mind to such complicated feelings and actions.