I've been getting concerned lately.
I used to read. A lot. When I was pregnant with my son and had a cake job as a live-in apartment manager I sometimes used to consume several books a day. Even just a few years ago I was still consuming ten or more books a month. Now, I feel like I am trickling in a book here or a book there, and struggling to 'get into' them the way I used to. When I read this fascinating article I realized the author had a point: "I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle... what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski".
That sounds so familiar. And it is not just reading. It seems a lot of things that used to be pivotal to my life are suffering, I used to write a lot; compulsive journaling, playing around with fictional characters and story lines, reviews and letters and thoughts and ponderings and observations... Not so much anymore. My journal is sadly neglected, I haven't touched any of my fiction in months, and when I look at the past couple months worth of blog entries they are mostly just brief humorous quips (appropriated from other sources) and pictures.
On top of reading and writing, I have not worked in my studio in.... almost a year? could that be right? Has it been that long? Previously an obsessive sketchbooker (as opposed to a scrapbooker) it so something that I just no longer do. And it's loss is painful. As sort of a replacement I have been taking pictures, but it's not the same; it doesn't satisfy the same need for expression that is still underlying and gnawing away.
Meanwhile my time on the internet has increased. A lot. Yet it feels like my internet 'productivity' has decreased as measured by meaningful contact with friends and exposure to ideas and information. I'm not sure how the math works out, I haven't sat down and analyzed my internet time, but perhaps I should. Flickr, Goodreads, email, chat, Blog Reader... and for all my attempts at getting all my information organized into one place I still just find myself... scattered and spinning my wheels.
And how embarrassing to write about this ON MY BLOG. (So, G, sign off already and go read a book!)
Maybe it is just an adjustment period (been lots of upheaval lately), maybe I just need to find a balance, get better at time management, maybe this has just been a necessary down time, and I'm ready to 'get up' again, maybe I have an addiction that I need to address. Or maybe Google has made me stoopid.
So... does anyone have any thoughts on the subject? ever gone though something similar? I am soliciting advice here, so feel free.