Immersed in the past .. bombarded by the present

Most days I feel like a split personality – part of me living in battlefields surrounded by the sights and sounds of war or enduring the daily hardships and uncertainties of the home front while the other part of me lives with the bombardment of emails, twitter, facebook, blogs posts and the like. At the moment, I also have a third self trying to decide on a plan going forward.

Dithering seems to be setting in. A dangerous state, my desk cluttered with books, pages printed from various sites connected to the world of publishing, a list of to do’s, yellow stickies scrawled hastily with reminders some of which puzzle me because I can’t recall what prompted a particular thought. Even the floor is occupied, one pile dedicated to notes from the historical fiction survey, another pile with edits for my WIP, and a third pile of household bills and paperwork. I am drowning in paper.

But I digress. The point of this post is the juxtaposition of past and present which I believe is particularly acute for writers of historical fiction. Perhaps the solution is to turn off the present and focus on the past but what will I miss? Will a particular tweet pass without my notice? Will an email response be delayed too long? Will a Facebook friend pass me a link of crucial importance?

And here’s the irony .. I’m a woman with a Masters degree in Computer Science. The sound of hysterical laughing breaks out.

10 thoughts on “Immersed in the past .. bombarded by the present”

  1. Too many people divorce themselves from the past. It’s a mistake, like coming into a theater in the middle of a movie. How can you understand what’s happening if you don’t know what came before.

  2. There are many times when I wish I could ignore Facebook or email and immerse myself completely in the past. However, the only time I feel I can really do that is when I actually writing on the novel. Putting on music from the era I’m writing in (1940s) and shutting off the internet while I’m writing is the best way I can “escape” this modern world.

    1. Hi Debbie … I suspect cafes around the world are full of writers! The benefit of having all those people to observe while creating sentences is wonderful. You can write their gestures, facial features, and odd bits of conversation into your scenes. A real gift.

      1. I could but I never seem to lol. At least not at the same time if that makes sense. Had a wonderful chat with a birdlover on Sunday to help recreate a scene in The Grey Silk Purse. How’s your writing going?

        1. Thanks for asking … I’m in what I call dither mode. Missing the London HNS conference left me wondering about next steps. I suppose I had this fantasy of meeting all sorts of wonderful people (writers, readers, agents) in the historical fiction world and that somehow a eureka would occur. Instead I’m debating what to do with my second book (my agent has the first one) and whether the survey might form the basis for a non-fiction book. While that percolates, I’m blogging, arranging a few further author interviews, and generally musing about writing. Not a bad state, but not a particularly productive one. Probably much more than you wanted to know 🙂

  3. For me, the allure of facebook and blogs is the sense of contact. I live so much in my head, and that is all the time-for my imagination is always “on” , developing scenes, wondering, dissecting characters motivations,etc that I need to fel grounded in the real world. If not, I just might fly off the surface and permanently get lost in the past (just kidding)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.