As a general rule of thumb, I think information is good, the more information the better. I'm pretty free with my info. And I love gathering it. It's my personality type.
It's also a survival mechanism, and I get a great deal of pleasure out of it. I hate not knowing the current trends. Sure, I've given up on certain portions of modern life -- electronic games, modern pop music, reality shows. But otherwise, I try to hang in there.
BUT...I've decided that I need to focus on the inner, not the outer. I'm very committed to writing right now. So much so, that I spend very little time reading fiction. Taking the time and effort it takes to read a book. (Which is great sacrifice, let me tell you.)
But I'm still grazing on the internet a whole lot. Can just do it superficially. But...I'm spending hours on it and I'm not sure it's helping me in any way.
There's always been a few magazines that were focused on the "industry" of writing -- and I always had the same sensation when I read them. A mixture of jealously, and hopefulness, and wonder at how much there is, and a bit of despair about how hard it is, and so on.
So I stopped reading them before they stopped me.
I'm starting to feel the same way about the internet. For instance, I had to give up paying much attention to the comic sites that talked about all the great material out there -- and worse, showed me cool pictures. I would order them too often, and too often nothing happened.
It was too much information, if you will. I was getting too far ahead of my customer base.
Writing is such an internal thing. You bear down on your own imagination, do your best with your own resources. You can do it on a desert island, and not only will it not be worse for it, but it probably will be better.
So I'm thinking I need to create a little more of my own desert island if I'm serious about writing.
This does not mean not getting out of the house. In fact, I think I need to do more of that.
But the reading of magazines, newspapers and the watching of TV and most importantly the internet -- I need to let go of some of that.
Let go of my need to always be aware of the latest news, the latest trends. Let myself become one of those people who doesn't know what's going on.
It's hard. Letting go. Not being in the loop.
But knowing what's going on isn't helpful for my interior life, takes a huge amount of time, and ultimately isn't all that important.
My life isn't any worse for not knowing who the latest pop star is who is getting in trouble, or the latest politician that is being crushed, or which sports team is on top, or what the coolest show is on TV.
The characters I'm writing about don't care, and have no knowledge of these things. And it's the characters and stories I'm writing about that concern me now.
3 days ago