With the shift to so many digital things, it seems the “e-” prefix can be attached to anything:
e-book, e-commerce, e-trading, e-business, e-signature, e-etc.
As 2014 approaches, I propose a new e-thing:
I’ve written about my experiences taking a 101-day social media break. I even followed up with additional thoughts after returning.
I reread those two blog entries and realized that I’ve been quite e-interrupted since that break (and other breaks I’ve taken from social media — mostly around election seasons).
After coming back, while still making progress on the novel, I started focusing on blogging and other things people say matters if one is going to write. I lost the focus I had during the breaks from social media, and…I decided to write a novella instead. I started a podcast. I started blogging at my main site again. (This is actually cross posted from there.)
It’s time for another e-hermitage: a break from being so connected. Maybe the numbers of the podcast will drop without reminding people on Facebook that a new show is online. Maybe my blog numbers will plummet without reminding people on social media what I’m up to.
I’m okay with that. For me, an e-hermitage is finding Walden in an e-connected world and focusing on what matters most to me: fiction!
A Magic Life is the best thing I’ve written. It’s surpassed Old Man, now, as my favorite story…and it’s not even complete. I guess it’s probably half complete, and it needs to be fully complete in 2014.
That means stepping back from interruption and keeping the story in my head almost exclusively — rolling scenes around over and over to see the best way they should be presented. I know the advice says I must be available online, and that Twitter, Facebook, and other networks are every bit as important as what we write.
I don’t believe that, though. And I’m not so sure people who care about books on deeper levels than just, “This person has a big following that will buy whatever they churn out!” believe that, either.
So it’s time to wander into the e-woods and build my e-cabin and come out when I’m done with a new book.
I hope people understand.
Paul Lamb says
Of course you must remain online. Look at the past. No books were ever sold, not stories or poems were ever read by anyone anywhere ever before the digital universe came into being.
Although I will miss your posts, I respect your decision and the rigor you have to follow through with it!
Christopher Gronlund says
Paul: Indeed! Even today, there are NO authors who shun the online world who have made it 😉
I always blogged during social media breaks, but any blogging this time will be about the book. I’m at a point right now where I’ve jumped around so much that large sections are written and I’m going back and actually writing sequentially. As I near having everything in the first section done, I’m at a point where the pacing is nice, but I love the story so much, I think, “This first section could be its own novel,” and I’m wondering if turning this into a trilogy is a good idea. I like the characters and story that much. I want to do more with certain settings, instead of moving through for the sake of single-novel pacing. So at least for now, once my break comes at the end of the week and a log out of everything, I don’t even see blogging until the first section is readable and I can decide if this story should be a single novel, or a trilogy.
The literary/upmarket/whateverthehellthisbookis world isn’t big on trilogies, but…much like your story, “Race to the Summit,” things aren’t always as they seem and there may be a wider audience for the story. Who knows? All I know is right now, even though work has been really busy, that cutting out some things will give me even more time to work and I need that right now for the sake of a story I really love!