Overheard (Misheard?) #5

Two older men outside the Cadman Plaza Post Office:

Man #1: How long have you struggled with God?

Man #2: Since, ah—since January.

Man #1: Oh, of this year.

Man #2: Yeah.

Man #1: Oh.

Strategies for Reclaiming Time Not Yet Lost

This is tempting (in that knocking-down-a-house-of-cards-you-built way):

I made some decisions for my own Internet usage when I got back online. The first thing I did was replace my blog with an advertisement for my books. Why did I think I needed a blog?

—Stephen Elliott, “Surviving a Month Without Internet,” Poets & Writers, May/June 2007

Ayelet Waldman noted when she bailed, in February of 2005, on her Bad Mother blog: “The only problem with blogging is that it is all-consuming.” The verb used in this context means, I think, the daily practice of it, or frequent practice of it; but the fact of having a CMS installed, even if you don’t use it much, and say upfront that you won’t be using it much, can still be a constant fish-or-cut-bait poke in the conscience.

(Elliott’s solution of tearing the whole thing down is, in a way, more elegant, or at least less depressing, than abandoning a blogspot site, like so much carrion, to the comment-section assaults of the bot vultures.)

But time! How quickly it fills up! There’s the Colson Whitehead model, of course. And what I’ve done recently has been to follow this advice:

What I did, instead, was simply to stop reading blogs.

This is the third and present phase of my relationship. I didn’t realize how much time I spent on blogs until I stopped reading them. Now there’s more time to read and write and think and live.

—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “Shall I Live, Or Shall I Blog-Blah-Blah?,” Hartford Courant, April 1, 2007

What a time saver!

As Shanna wrote a few weeks ago: “Drawing lines through things is almost more satisfying than actually completing them.”

Imagine drawing lines through things before the things are even there!

A beautiful thing!