Displacement Therapy

House moving looms and we find that BT are unable to supply a telephone line until 14 days after the current house owner has moved out, and can’t supply us with a telephone number until then. Our internet provider cannot supply us with a connection until we have our new number – and there is a ten day wait. Well that was the first rendering. My other half spending half a day on the phone has resulted in shortening those time scales a little, with luck, but only time will tell by how much.

Yes, I know most people will use their tablet or smart phone instead, but I am one of those people who kill things electronic, so I don’t have a phone capable of email. The long and short of it is that, as you read this I shall be languishing in the new house, surrounded by cardboard boxes, and unable to get online.

My first reaction was eeek! But given time to think about it this may be a blessing in disguise. I suspect many of us have come to rely on social media far too much. Many of the writers I chat with appear to check email, Facebook, Twitter and the like every hour on the hour; and though they bemoan the time they spend there readily admit they can’t help themselves.  I will hold my hand up and include myself in that weak-willed collective, and that is before I dive into three hours of research for one line of text. (Which happens more often than I care to admit.)

This constant sliding away from the story in hand to check ‘online’ is, of course, classic displacement activity. We tell ourselves that we need to be online ‘networking’ as a part of our job. And that is true to an extent. Editors and agents will always say when giving talks and workshops that they always Google authors, and expect us all to have a healthy online presence. The Indie writing gurus will assure us that being ‘out there’ is essential for sales and yes they are right.

All of that said I have more than a sneaking suspicion that I used to do an awful lot more writing before social media crashed into my life.  The internet is a chronic thief of time, but with the added bonus that one need no even leave one’s desk in order to indulge in an hour or so of chatter and/or research.

Unpacking aside it will be interesting to see how much writing I manage to get done during this enforced hiatus. Or not…

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