Funny how that works…
that the only time I ever actually get any writing done is when the internet at home is shut off.
Something else I’ve noticed, that constant use of the internet does things to your will, your ability to function, your mood, and not good things. It fogs out your brain; your mental faculties corrode and makes you depressed. You lose concentration and you even lose the ability to shut it off and go do something else. And you certainly lose the ability to sustain concentration for writing.
My home internet isn’t based on a telephone landline. As is pretty normal in Italy, I don’t have a landline. I run the internet off a smartphone that I basically use exclusively as a portable modem, and buy a certain number of gigabites worth of internet per month, then pipe that into the laptop. These “promozione” are renewable monthly on a certain date. So if you go through it before the recharge date, you’re just out of luck. So, if I do something indulgent like … just a random example… binge-watch a bunch of Agents of Shield it burns through the monthly giga allowance before the recharge date. That’s when I pack up the computer and bike down to the village and sit in the bar to drink tea and use the wifi. And here we are.
And exactly the same thing happens every time I run out of internet before the date; I write. The constant distraction machine, that I’ve learned does little more than agitate my brain into mush, is making it close to impossible to actually do any writing. I’ve almost convinced myself that I’ve got a case of terminal writer’s block. Except that the instant the Distract-o-Ray is switched off, all the words just come pouring out. Which is good, because I was seriously starting to think my whole self-identification as a writer was going to dissolve. Also, I was worried I was just getting dumber.
Everything else happens too; more praying, more housework, more painting, more book-reading, more going for walks, more sewing, more gardening, more cooking… more life in general.
That damn thing is worse than we think, I think, but since for a lot of us it’s on nearly all the time, we can’t notice until it’s gone. It gets especially bad if you live alone.
So, I apologise, again, for the extreme paucity of posts here. Four for the whole month of October is just inexcusable. The other day I met some nice young folk down in Rome, one of whom said, “Oh, Hilary White… yes, I read you on Twitter…” which seemed like a terrible indictment to me. Good Lord, is that what I’ve been reduced to? Yee!
This is why I’m foregoing the usual autumn funder. I am a believer in the principle of value for money, and lately I just haven’t been producing. I’ll get back t’goin’ and we’ll come back to that later.
But the good news is that the strange mental fog the internet produces also vanishes when it’s off, and I’ve still got those promised posts on the way and another link to my latest for the Remnant. (Mike is also complaining, quite justly, about my recent lack of productivity.)
We’ve heard a great deal about “synodality” this week, mostly in the context of reports that the bishops at the Synod are complaining of a bait n’ switch. Apparently, the Francis Cabal has completely given up pretending to follow even the external forms of what they claim to be doing.
So unashamed has the manipulation become that Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai – a member of the drafting committee and a Bergoglian court favourite from the “peripheries,” simply admitted at the press briefing that the final document would focus a great deal on “synodality” even though this was something the bishops hardly spoke about at all.
“They’re very heavily stressed, discernment and synodality, which really were not very much prominent in the discussions,” Crux reports Gracias saying. “It wasn’t very prominent in the minds of the synod fathers, but it’s come out very strongly,” he admitted.
The other thing the internet does to you is make you reactive. You feel like you never do really get around to your own writing because you’re constantly trawling Twitter for more outrage. This makes everything you write essentially the same; “Isn’t it OUTRAGEOUS!!” Which alleviates the immediate stress – and probably satisfies some biochemical, neurological craving for dopamine – but ultimately doesn’t really help anyone very much. Also, everyone else is pretty much doing the same thing. Frankly, reactive writing is boring. It’s as boring to write as it is to read.
Anyway, so the grand success of my internet down-time is giving me a few ideas on things to change. I feel like I’ve woken from anaesthesia. Groggy but slowly clearing and glad to be back in the real world again.
Things may change here. Some stuff is happening, or might be happening, behind the scenes that would make it make sense both to me as a writer and to my readers as readers, to move elsewhere (virtually speaking) and start focusing less on the daily horrorshow, and more on what we can actually do about it.
The answer is pretty obvious, and it’s that I want to write about: Other Things… much more than the latest outrage of the Bergoons, which is getting kinda old, to be honest.
So, thanks for sticking around. It means a lot that we’re still getting thousands of readers a day. I’m going to work on being a better steward of my time and a better provider of content, and with a bit of grace, that will result in giving better service here, better value.
More to come…