Can you imagine trying to read a book at the same time as watching a television show and Tweeting and Facebooking? Would you enjoy the book at all? Or worse, would you complain that it was hard to get into the book? It would certainly be a different read than if you were curled up in a quiet place sipping a coffee and only reading.
I thought of all the above when I was sitting in The Cellar Jazz Club last Saturday listening to the Mike Allen Quartet with friends of ours. We had dinner beforehand in the Club followed by two outstanding jazz sets. Adam Thomas the bass player had an out-of-this-world falsetto voice and every band member was completely caught up in the moment and enjoying the moment.
But the two people in front of me texted and Tweeted throughout the entire first set (then left before the second set, thank goodness). I found that the light from their phones was distracting in the dark room and it was so irritating that it took me out of the moment. I felt like asking them to turn their devices off, but my polite voice wouldn’t let me.
With heads down, these two multi-media crazed people kept typing away. Did they even see the band or “hear” their music? They couldn’t possibly have taken in the whole music experience to the same extent as those of us that were listening intently and enjoying the moment. And if everyone in the audience were on their social media devices I’m sure the band members would have noticed. Surely it would have taken away from their musical experience too.
And that made me think of trying to read a book while being constantly distracted by social media. Is it fair to the author that has spent hundreds of hours creating the story for the reader’s sole entertainment? Can you even think of a book that can withstand the stress of constant interruptitis? (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. My medical background was calling me to make up this word.)
Now I feel much better about not allowing myself to be distracted (as much) by email, Facebook, twitter and our 5Writer’s blog as I did at the beginning of this challenge. At the moment I have enough of my own life challenges on the home front that are taking me away from my writing, but it is personal work that has to be done. I’d much rather be driving down south or watching the fog in San Francisco.
That said, I know I haven’t acknowledged my progress-to-date. I’m progressing slower than the goal I’ve set for myself, but my story is getting written and I am close to the end of Act One. I’m using a great writing software called Scrivener and it gives the word count for every file, and as I have each scene in a separate file it means I do the totaling for the whole until I learn how to do it differently. I’m still new to the software.
Scenes written: 13 (I guarantee they are shorter than Paula’s)
Words written: approximately 12,000
Goal: finish Act One by the end of November. No pie unless my goal is met. Rewards help. Yikes, that means only 3 days to go.
Happy writing fellow 5Writers.
And may all our future readers take time to enjoy uninterrupted moments engrossed in our stories.