Social media cold turkey?

On Wednesday we saw this article in The Guardian about Game of Thrones author George RR Martin in which he explains how he can write so much so quickly. Basically, his computer isn’t connected to the internet and he uses an old DOS (disk operatiing system) version of WordStar, which also doesn’t suggest spelling or grammar alternatives to him while he types.

Brief aside
First of all, who remembers WordStar?

I remember WordStar well. It was the first word processing package I ever trained on or took exams in while I was working for the Industrial Society in Birmingham, back in the day. I was Admin Officer for their IT department and had only ever used an electronic typewriter up until that point, or the very archaic data-processing system they used to have at Birmingham City Council (Engineers Department).

Yes, I had proper jobs long before I gave up the rat race. 😀

Back to the point
So, in this article, this author reckons that without the distraction of the internet and all that entails, he can quite happily bash away at his keyboard to his heart’s content.

And, well, the evidence is there to support this.

A challenge?
Now, I’ve long said that if I just hammered away at an old typewriter, or even scribble in a notepad, I’d get a hell of a lot more done without the distractions of the internet. I even have an old portable typewriter, although granted it’s still in the loft at the other house … I think.

However, every time I try it with just my notepad and pen, the mobile phone still distracts me.

But, would I be able to go cold turkey? And would the poet?

Not as easy as that
Unfortunately, I have a lot of work via the internet. I get work via emails. I get work via social media. I sell books via the internet. I surf job boards online.

Aside from that, Facebook was a great lifeline for me when I first left my husband and kept me in touch with lots of friends, family, colleagues, all over the globe. I still use it to keep in touch with the people who were there for me; I still use it to wish people a happy birthday; I still use it to try and support others.

Also, let’s not forget that blogging comes under social media/internet activity, and Baggins Bottom is a blog. The gig list is also a blog, and the gig list has a Facebook page too. So does the poet’s band. YouTube is the same. As is Twitter. And LinkedIn. And SoundCloud. And GoodReads. Plus ALL of those I never, ever use or even look at.

Cold turkey
And so the poet and I are kind of agreeing that we may go cold turkey for a while. Probably just a day at first, see how we get on. Maybe just Facebook or Twitter or YouTube. And hopefully the gig list and the blog and the pages won’t suffer as a result. Or my work.

But, saying that, the poet said he’d not been on at all this morning, while I was sending an email to lovely-already-boss via the mobile phone. However, he does get FB notifications to his phone (I don’t), and he’d apparently received a Twitter message … and read it …

It can be done, though. Theoretically. We both have laptops without internet connections. And batteries are supposed to last longer when they’re just used as laptops. Or, I might just haul out the old portable typewriter. And mobile phones can have applications turned off and auto-notify deactivated, etc.

Disappear
So, if we do disappear, that’s probably why. And we won’t be gone for long. Just to see if we can do it. And, if we can, perhaps we’ll both also make progress with our respective writing projects.

The blog and the gig list will still be there and updated. I’ll still surf the job boards and send and receive work by email. We just won’t have FB or Twitter or YouTube or LinkedIn or anything else constantly running in the background.

Or I won’t. Could you?

Have a great weekend.

Typewriter Keys

w/c 20 Jan: to do list

Well, that’s not bad, is it? Only 3 days into the new working week in the new working/living regime and I’m up to speed, back to normal.

I’m getting used to lots of things, such as sleeping in a strange place, keeping the animals happy (as the cats aren’t allowed out yet properly, although that hasn’t stopped Domino sitting on the new patio), wondering what all of these fancy gadgets are and how they work …

Hopefully, once in the swing of things, the money will start to trickle in again too, and even that has begun, with PLR due in February, Kindle royalties next week, interest on the bank account (yes, actual, proper interest, no matter how small), and ALCS due in March. I’ve also had work come in, brand new and 2nd proofs. So, all is good – so far.

I don’t think I included a link yet to the filler I had published in the Guardian on Saturday. For those who haven’t already seen it, here it is. My Playlist is the 2nd one down. And that’s the Guardian added to the CV. 🙂

Here, then, is this week’s to do list, which actually started on Monday but is now formally confirmed:

  • daily banking 
  • blog x 3 
  • daily competitions 
  • daily job search 
  • send contact details to the Guardian 
  • send bank details to the Guardian
  • walk dog daily x 3
  • query Three (mobile phone provider) about poor signal in new location 
  • collect new home signal booster box, delivered by Three 
  • diary work x 2 
  • update gig list 
  • write 1,000 words a day x 3
  • 2nd pass of client’s non-fiction book 
  • edit new non-fiction book
  • attend test drive of music desk x 2 
  • invoices (hurrah!)
  • Do Diddle Day (hurrah!)

Just look at all of those ticks already. I’ve also pitched for 9 jobs .

What’s on your to do list this week?

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Good news

Yesterday I received some good news. I sold my first piece to a new market, which was actually submitted on spec and acknowledged before Christmas but formally accepted yesterday. I’ll have a filler in tomorrow’s Guardian, but it’ll also be available online. I’ll supply the link next week.

I also heard from the newest client, who is “very happy” with the work I’ve done. I have some more to do on that today.

I was invited to bid on several jobs, but I declined all of them as they don’t really fit my experience or skills.

And today I received payment for a job completed 2 weeks ago. Fourteen days isn’t a bad settlement period, but this particular work I usually get paid for within 3 – 5 days of completion.

This morning I pitched for another 7 jobs, and that brings this week’s tally to more than 30.

The to-do list has been fair again, with just 3 items not done. Everything else should be completed by the end of Sunday, as one is a visit to Brum.

I think I’m also moving this weekend. What are you up to? Hope it’s a goodun. 😉

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