It’s Not the Be-All End-All…

addiction, be all, drawing, end all, exposing dallas, guitar, internet, learned, lesson, portraits, Random, writing
Just another lesson learned.


One thing had has bothered me since becoming a stay-at-home mother is my excessive internet usage and the deprivation of myself from what I consider to be life.

What have I learned in recent days? The internet is not the be-all end-all. In fact, I have known this for quite some time, but like an addict, I have been hooked, have needed my fix, just can’t stop no matter what people tell me. When I’m not on the computer, I think about it. Am I missing emails? Blog posts? Have my books arrived in this store yet? I have to make a link to my site. Have I blogged in a few days? What else can I do to market? How else can I make friends, social ties? How can I garner fans?

And this is not even including the time I may or may not spend writing.

Yes, this post was inspired by that of another written in recent days by a fellow author, and I don’t mean to piggy-back on his, but it really made me think again (not that I hadn’t already been thinking about this for the last six months).

This is a confession of my internet addiction. Or if it’s not an addiction, it’s something quite similar. I have neglected my home, my family, and myself. For this I appologize.

It all started as an excuse. I have to write. How do I write? On my computer. How do I do research? On the internet. So it started there. While I’m on the internet, why not check my email and Facebook? Now, I had better check to make sure my website is functioning properly. And then check Goodreads. Check my blog. Even though I receive emails when someone comments. Next, check to see if my books are on this site yet. Then, oh, I find a problem with this, or I should update that, so there’s two hours gone so far. Meanwhile, my child is playing quietly with her toys, but I can see her look at me thinking “Why won’t she just pay attention to me?”

This is the worst feeling. Then, a week ago, my daughter started crying whenever I picked up the laptop. That was a wake-up call.

While I spent most of my time on the internet because I “rationalized” that there was nothing else to do, I have neglected many things that could have been nurtured. For example, I have what I and others consider to be a great talent for sketching portraits. At one point, I was making money sketching for customers. Well, I got too busy for that. Talent neglected. Today, after probably ten months, I sat down and finished a portrait of Angelina Jolie that I had started:


I was also pretty good at playing guitar. Heck, I had no aspirations of being in a band or anything like that, but music is my number one inspiration in life (aside, of course, from my family). Rock, specifically, or anything that falls into that general category. I taught my little brother how to play (until he was good enough to not need me anymore) and now he has the promise to make it big one day. But I haven’t really practiced in a few years. Once every six months I get the chance to sit down with the guitar, but practice session is usually hampered by something. Going from shaking the walls of my parents’ home when I was younger to not playing at all is pretty drastic. Talent neglected.

I know that in the winter time it is only natural for people to hibernate, stay indoors, watch tv, fool around on the computer, but this is just ridiculous. When I am not on the computer, my husband is (I’ve been a bad example).

So, therein lies my dilemma.

Okay, so at the moment, I am not writing. Mainly because I am choosing not to, waiting for the critique of my book so that I can start editing. If I know the book is good, then I’ll continue on the sequel. But I am in no great hurry. In fact, I like to give my books some time to sit before I go back to do another. Look at it from another perspective.

But when I do start writing, I know I’ll just fall into the same patterns again. So I have to set boundaries for myself. But I know I won’t stick to them. I need the internet for research, email, and selling my books, so getting rid of it is not an option. Maybe a typewriter? But that opens up a whole other can of worms.

It was one thing to be online eight hours a day when I worked for someone else. I had to be online, researching flights, trips, etc. Our entire job was online. But I can’t really claim my entire job is on the computer. I am making more work for myself instead of finding things to do to occupy that time in which I claim to be so busy. Like clean the house. Play more with my kid. Sit with my husband sans computer or tv.

So, I am going to try to be on here less. I am going to set aside only the time my daughter naps in the morning for everything I have to do. If I can’t get it done, tough, I’ll have to do it the next morning (if you could see all the sticky notes on my screen already, you’d laugh). I do plan to blog at least once a week, but instead of mulling over topics while I fool around online, I am going to come on here with one to discuss, or not at all.

It’s going to be hard, but with your support, I will stop living my life vicariously through technology and actually go out and do things. The internet may be a blessing, but it can also be a damnation.

3 thoughts on “It’s Not the Be-All End-All…

  1. This is just how I feel lately. I left my last job in November and decided to take some time off to try and launch my writing career. I have already made a positive start with some ebooks released, but, like you, I am now finding myself glued to the internet for hours – often to the detriment of getting new writing done.
    As a new writer, I am trying so hard to promote my books and get my name out there, that I am now a member on so many sites that all need updating, plus my website and blog…
    I am actually going back to work next week – temping so a bit here and there…Even so, I am going to have to restrict my internet time now. Otherwise, how will I fit in all the rest I have to do: my writing, editing work, an editing course I'm doing, music practice, language practice, letters to my penpals, getting some exercise, reading (of course)…and like you I do sketch from time to time (though not so well – that is a great pic!)
    *sigh* I must try to fit it all in somehow and I think cutting down the internet time will be a big factor!

  2. It's so hard. I mean, no one said it would be easy, but I think there's a point where you have to realize, it's just a job. To us writers, it feels like more than a job, it's a calling, something we were meant to do, something we want to spend all our time doing, but how much are we willing so sacrifice?

    So far, I have been on the computer only while my daughter napped, after I worked out, got the kitchen tidied up, etc. Now, I am actually writing.

    I just know that I don't want to look back on my daughter's childhood and realize I barely spent time with her. I don't want to be the 'absent' parent.

  3. True indeed. I am resolved to cut down to the bare minimum as of now. This is my last thing on my "daily internet checks" and all completed in 45mins. Will try to always keep it below the hour mark. Now I still have about 3 hours left. I have a book review to write for NetGalley and then any time left I can write or work on the assignment for my course. Starting the new job tomorrow…so will have to be really strict the rest of this week!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *