Can noise, as defined by too many things competing for your time, be the one thing that final drives you to change?
“I streamlined and simplified life so I could have the maximum amount of time writing and has made my life incredibly happy.”- Ann Patchett
For me, that statement reflects where I want to be when I look in a mirror. For you, it may be something else that you live, breathe, talk, but can’t quite devote enough time to claim it as your passion. We live in different times than those who’ve come before us, who no doubt felt as though they lived in different times than those before them, but the common thread through all generations is it comes down to personal decisions on how each of us wishes to spend their time.
Time isn’t variable. An hour is the same now as it was in 1970 or 1920 or 1820. The eternal variable has always been how one choses to spend time, yet a modern-day person wants to claim “uniqueness” from our compelling world of distractions: Facebook, Twitter, instant this, overnight that. But every era had it’s own version of such distractions, and again, the only common denominator is personal choice on spending time.
Several years ago I left the world of cable and satellite TV, opting for selective movies and chasing a few choice series via Internet replays. Six months ago I jettisoned news media, also to try and quiet the noise. But in their place I worked on Web presence, social media involvement, and planning ebooks. Nice stuff, but essentially detours from what I really want to do: write. And recently I watched, then read, No Impact Man which is beginning to have a profound effect on my process thinking and sensitivity to noise (as defined in this post).
Some will argue blogging, Twitter, Facebook IS writing, which is true in function, but not in the manner my mind and soul desire.
So in an effort to become No (Internet) Impact Man, I’m beginning to withdraw from ‘net dependency and focus on writing projects. Doesn’t mean I’ll be absent, but does mean it will be on my terms, not the ‘net’s. In practical terms, I’ll avoid social media a lot more, and limit blogging here to a single, essay-like post in the future. Plans are not crystal clear yet, but in the spirit of Ann Patchett, it’s time to maximize writing and it’s pleasure, and streamline while simplifying the noise.