The Return to the Cave

Image result for cave

Well, today’s the day: I’ve decided, once again, to deactivate my Facebook account.

Here’s why:

Yesterday, my spouse and I were at a local independent bookstore. Seeing all those stories gorgeously displayed in that wood-paneled space was both exhilarating and depressing. It thrilled me to know that I have seven novels sitting in various stages of “ready” on my bookshelf. And yet, it caused heart-crushing anxiety to realize that in order to get them from my possession into a publisher’s hands, I need to direct my whole attention to making them the best they can be.

In the last many months, Facebook has become something of a stalling technique. Admittedly when I have a 577-page first draft manuscript sitting on my desk in need of revisions and line edits, I can easily be distracted by photos of puddle-splashing children and links to videos showing goat kids climbing on draft horses. Both the photos and the videos–along with the “status updates,” are short-term pleasures that have peppered my days so much that my “work” has been distractedly interrupted.

This isn’t my first Facebook vacation. I took over a year off from the “news feed” and telling all “what’s happening for you?” a short time ago. But this past October, I went back after that 15 month hiatus to share that:

1) I had taken said 15 month hiatus off to write, and

2) I had started a blog.

So in a similar vein, my current departure from Facebook is motivated primarily by my interest in getting two things accomplished:

1) Concentrating my thoughts and energies–without distraction–into the process of writing. (And what a “process” it is: the initial writing, the editing, the reediting, the waiting on the thoughtful feedback from my beta readers, the continued editing and reediting.), and

2) Finding a good match in a literary agent to represent my work and sell my book(s) to a publisher. (Possible end result: I walk into that same independent bookstore and see my book(s) displayed among those others that went through the same gauntlet to get there.)

While I plan to continue writing here, it will be scaled back a bit. I hope to post on Mondays and Fridays along with my regular contributions to the Huffington Post.

Until then, it’s back to living by the first three (of 12) Zen Monk Rules:
1) Do one thing at a time;
2) Do it slowly and deliberately;
3) Do it completely.

Perhaps if I can apply all those the my writing, the day will soon come that I’ll be able to tell you all the release date for my first novel. Until then, it’s back to the cave.

9 thoughts on “The Return to the Cave

  1. Zen Habits! At one time I loved that blog! Why did I stop following it? I can’t remember. Anyways, I look forward to the results of your focus, and I very much appreciate the link to the 12 habits. Last night I got home from work & declared a take no prisoners approach to the evening schedule. Cancelled karate. Cancelled my piano lesson. I just couldn’t add one more thing to the day. Clearly, I need a little Zen kick in the pants myself. Peace, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen. Social media is SO distracting. Even blogging, which I love to do, takes up so much time, there’s precious little time left for my “real” writing. It all comes down to balance, I guess, and deciding what’s important to you. At least you recognize the Facebook black hole, and take steps to escape it.

    Liked by 1 person

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