Monday, 18 August 2014

Down the Rabbit Hole

This is a Disney image, I know, please don't sue me....

It's very easy to fall down a rabbit hole.

Alice falls down a rabbit hole and becomes suddenly part of something wondrous and insane. I can't help feeling that when you write, the internet can feel a little like that. There are so many advantages to having the web: you can have a handy reference library of portable dictionaries and thesauruses; read useful articles; find out about opportunities; communicate with people across the globe about the value of your semi-colon in line 4; share and receive happy news, that kind of thing. But sometimes it's easy to feel overwhelmed. There are always new books out and you can't read them all; there are always things you could and should be doing; there are always awards, competitions you'll never win. It can get a bit much sometimes. It feels as the world is moving much quicker than you are.

My husband, who I should add is only 5 years older than me, remembers a different world without the internet, or in particular the advent of Web 2.0 which changed absolutely everything. When he was but a mere teen flowering into his twenties he used to write, read and send things off in envelopes. The world of writing announced itself in envelopes which appeared now and then. Now you can simply scroll down and bang! Before you've so much as blown your nose there are 6 interesting blog pieces to read; another competition; X magazine opening for subs and oh look there's someone who won the comp you entered and didn't win. All this while you're trying to hoover the living room; go through spreadsheets or hanging on the end of a phone while on hold listening to Bach. For someone who has a short concentration span at the best of times even I find I can't keep up!

I think blogging and reviewing really do have a place as a way of getting a hold on what can otherwise feel ephemeral. I know in one way it's contributing to the traffic jam of information, but they're just as important for the person who writes them as the reader. They're a way into giving your own thoughts and responses a shape and some permanence in an impermanent environment. So my advice to someone who needs a handle, as it were, is to make your own handle and yes that probably means more frequent blogging in my case too.

*Final note* I am including a link to a poem on Anthony Wilson's excellent website titled 'Poem for Someone Who is Juggling Her Life' by Rose Cook, as it seems quite relevant and you will find it here.


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