Red Pill–sort of
Since making a public New Year’s Resolution to minimize my time on Facebook and Twitter in order to finish my second novel, Arlen’s Harem, by February 1st, I’ve had minimize my time online in general.
The result is that I don’t really know what’s going on in the news right now, and it feels kind of good–I’m old enough to recall when the news cycle was a couple of weeks, rather than a couple of minutes.
Generally, I take two days off per week from the Internet Race-to-Comment, anyway, and when I come back, I have to spend an hour or two getting back in the loop. Three days of separation from the news-cycle fix nearly puts a news junkie in Low Information Voter (LIV) territory. But now, I don’t wonder why LIVs often seem calmer and happier: they don’t know that the sky is falling and, sometimes, it better not to know. Ignorance, bliss, you know.
The commentary race often gets bloggers in trouble anyway—if one is the slightest bit concerned about accuracy and about being original. That last concern is why I don’t comment on some topics and events—I have nothing new to say about them.
Staying away from shorter communications also has a positive effect on my ability to build a narrative. When I composed the bulk of Tale of the Tigers, I spent much of my non-typing work on it spinning yarns in my mind and connecting them to other parts of the novel. A handy, pre-smartphone tool was an mp3 player in which I could speak my story ideas without writing them down or having to remember them. (I made the grievous mistake of thinking through a story without out writing it down or recording it once…and only once.)
I’ve been semi-newsfree since about the 31st. Obviously, I’m going to have to watch the news a bit in order to post here and at my own blog. But, it feels good to know that I can still spit out 300 or 30K words without being fed by the Matrix.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on February 1, 2017! Follow her on Twitter.
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