When you’re wrapped up in writing and creating your own world of characters and events, it’s all too easy to forget time, and with that can come a scary dose of reality when it hits you. I picked up a calendar the other day to write down a few dates to remind myself of early train times only to find it was dated 2017. Time has stood still for so long the calendar I kept putting back in the pile ‘to sort out’ had already expired.
You lose track of what the latest gadgets are, such as the latest iphone or Samsung Galaxy versions. I didn’t even realize the British Vogue editor whom I disliked had stepped down and was replaced nearly a year ago. Usually I’m on top of all these things, but since I stopped engaging in social media except to relax, time seems to stand still more often. The news currently is crammed with celebrity divorces, sex scandals, and the latest Trump firings. At times it seems surreal, and the stories matter for a few moments and then you have to get back into your own world and what is important. Sometimes I find locking myself away from the real world helps me to write, because you can get angry and annoyed at a story and it’s simply too distracting.
When you get back out to the real world it can be a mini culture shock, even if it’s only a few weeks. Prices go up in the grocery store, companies go under, and bush fires erupt around the globe. I recently was contacted by an old pal I hadn’t spoken to for years, and since we last saw one another our lives have diverted because they needed to, although not necessarily for the better. I logged onto my old Facebook account to find friends have had more babies, some of those babies were now about to start University, some were divorced, parents, siblings, and pets had died, and some had just left Facebook completely. For me though, time has stood relatively still. What have I got to show for it, but a pile of manuscripts that sit there waiting to be edited.
I picked up one recently to see the date I had finished it. It took me a few weeks to write, but that was back in 2016, and it has been redrafted numerous times since. However, I still feel there is another edit necessary, but I am waylaid by the pressure of writing new material. Throw in a few family dramas, and a phone that dies suddenly and you get thrown off kilter. Plans have to be readjusted, and I was forced to update to High Sierra and that led to a week of tension. There was a high probability it would create problems, and so I invested in some memory sticks (I still am iffy about the cloud) just in case. As it happens Apple Support in India will only support you for so long, and while the update worked, it lasted less than 24 hours. To cut a long story short, my patience with Apple Support would have got me smoking again, and I had to go online on the old backup phone to find a computer geek shop.
After I accepted the fact that he may wipe the hard drive (as that’s what he wanted to do before he even looked at it) I resigned myself to the fact all I would really lose was some old photos, most of which I already had in older folders which I had actually saved. It did give me an excuse to dig out some notebooks, and thus I remember why I prefer to write longhand, and I made good progress and still am.
I do feel I have had a time lapse and missed out on somethings, however, Trump still hasn’t been impeached and Brexit is still a touchy subject. I’ll be happier when both issues are resolved. Meanwhile, I prefer pen and paper and while files still sit in a dropbox and on a memory stick. I dread the thought of having to sift through them again, yet it’s a task that needs to be done. Creating your own world while living in another is hard work at times!