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The Tea House: Making Art in the Social Media Age

by Spike Marlowe

photo (3)Today is brought to you by a hot toddy.

Over at the delightful Myth and Moor blog, amazing writer, editor and artist Terri Windling recently discussed the issues surrounding using the Internet as a break while working.

Go on, go take a look. I’ll wait.

I definitely struggle with my Internet usage. It’s not that the Internet beckons and distracts me from my work, but that because I am a professional editor and writer, the online promotions are an essential part of my work. And yeah, I enjoy the Internet, too. It’s not been uncommon for me to get online when it’s time to take a break and see what’s up on Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr or Bizarro Central or my favorite news outlet. The thing is, when I’m done, I feel super-unsatisfied and definitely further away from the work at hand. I’ve also noticed that when I spend a lot of time online, especially on Facebook and Twitter, my attention span shortens. This is bad for someone who professionally finds having a long attention span useful.

So I decided to significantly reduce my time online. I have a few short scheduled periods of time during my days where I poke my nose in and check out what’s up on the Internet. But these times don’t happen during my writing or editing times–mixing the Internet with my creative activities just doesn’t work for me.

But I recognize that while I function like a lot of other artists do who struggle with the Internet, there might be artists out there who don’t have an issue with the Internet.

So, artists: How does the Internet impact your creative life? How do you balance the two? Or does it not impact you at all? And what do you think about Terri Windling’s blog post?
________________
Spike Marlowe has held a number of odd jobs, including working in a wild west show, as a detective, as a Bigfoot researcher, as a writer for an Internet content farm and as a busker. These days she’s a writer, blogger and bizarro editor for Eraserhead Press, with a focus on the New Bizarro Author Series. Her first book, Placenta of Love, is now available at all the usual locations. You can stalk her online at her website, Facebook or on Twitter at @spikemarlowe.

6 responses

  1. I edit and write as well but at my old jobs (porn store & dept of labor) I would write and edit while working. So I picked up the habit of writing and stopping to talk to people. I’m on Social Media while I write, which sounds and is terrible but it works for me, but I am an anomaly and don’t encourage people to do the same.

    March 24, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    • I had wondered if there were some of us who had learned to multitask in this way :). I expect it’s a skill resulting from a rejiggered brain?

      At one time, I could write advanced articles in social theory while watching Fox on Sunday nights. (X-Files, of course.) I’m pretty sure I’ve lost this skill… Probably for the best ;).

      March 24, 2014 at 8:54 pm

  2. GWH

    Reblogged this on mandydesandra.

    March 24, 2014 at 3:42 pm

  3. I feel like even my well-intentioned breaks from creating to look around online for a “few minutes” quickly becomes an hour and a half of lost time. I think what works best for me is to have online time, not when I’m planning to work on something, unless I don’t mind missing out on being productive.

    March 24, 2014 at 9:46 pm

  4. Crazy, I’ve recently done exactly the same thing! I’ve decided a couple of times in the morning and that’s it

    March 25, 2014 at 2:01 am

  5. The internet has greatly reduced my attention span. I’ve been using it for over a decade and it has become a big part of my life. I always have about 10 tabs open and am processing various information and random bullshit simultaneously while trying to complete articles and work on my personal, longer writing projects. Since I am so heavily involved in the internet with blogging, writing, and social networking, cutting down on my usage really isn’t an option. When I’m travelling, that is when I cut myself off from the internet but I can’t do that if I’m at home. It’s become too much of a habit. My main issue for not working on personal writing is mainly my head space. When I get home from work, I want to relax and screw around on the net. I can focus on short article and posts but opening up a long project is the last thing I want to do…and even on the rare instances when I do feel like working on it, I’m blocked and only shit comes out and I get annoyed and don’t try again for months. It’s been rather frustrating. I’ve been meaning to find a place outside of my apartment to take my laptop and dedicate as my “writing time.” There aren’t any libraries in Bangkok but there are a lot of coffee shops with with good open “crowd watching” spots to put my head into a space to write instead of dick around in my crazy cave.

    March 25, 2014 at 9:37 am

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