Jeff VanderMeer writes about unplugging from the net to concentrate on his new novel, and the Los Angeles Times picks up on it. Jeff has his wife, Ann, hide his router and cellphone so he can’t go online.
The internet in its many forms is, for me, a harmful and insidious enemy of novel creation. A novel takes a great deal of uninterrupted thought, not to mention uninterrupted writing. A novel in gestation does not brook interference of this kind. This isn’t just a matter of procrastination or time-wasting. It directly affects quality and depth in my opinion. The sustained effort required by a novel should not include multi-tasking on other things, if you have the option.
Ten years ago this is not something I, or anyone else, would have had to worry about. In fact, I remember writing parts of one novel in an apartment that didn’t even have electricity. Or, heck, any furniture to speak of. I got up around dawn, went to my day job, and then came back and wrote until it got dark. Sometimes I’d go to a coffee shop so I could write longer.
Jeff’s both an excellent novelist and a blogger extraordinaire. I understand his need to take severe measures to protect his fiction-writing. I should take his advice, I think. And, while I’m sitting here nodding along with everything he says, I’m also thinking: You blogged for Jeff during his hiatus. Now log off, get back in the bunker, and start revising your own novel.
Yes, ma’am. Signing off.