Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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(Some links or topics may not be completely kid-appropriate.)

Thu, Aug 26 2010

Dilemna: Balancing time to create, time to design, time to deliver, time to learn, time to promote, time to socialize

Just looking at these free brick textures from BittBox starts the story wheels turning for me. What writing scenes would take place in front of (or behind) a grungy brick wall? Sometimes a visual cue is stronger than any other for the creative part of me. I see more and more stories presented as packages, with art, audio files, even book trailers that mimic movie trailers in intensity and scope. The old-fashioned craft of telling stories and the old-fashioned method of curling up in a corner and reading a book are both evolving into a new form of entertainment in many instances.

In addition to making time for writing stories I'm also busy creating content for informative web sites. I see wonderful online sites with riveting design go sweeping by me as I struggle to maintain what I already have going. And one can't sit designing and writing 24/7. There are other people in the universe to communicate with and spend time with. With all the toys we now have available for phoning and texting and tweeting and sending videos and pictures, it's easy to spend an inordinate amount of time sitting in a corner figuring out the technology while the rest of life passes us by. And I'm in the minority among those in my age group. Many of them use technology sparingly. That's fine, but if we expect to draw young people to our content and creations, we're going to have to learn how some of the newer technology works and what young people are using in their daily lives. Radio was easy for generations before me. Television was easy. Movies were easy. Unless you were a creator of content, viewing and listening were mostly passive. Technology, including entertainment technology, has become increasingly interactive. If we don't keep up with things a little we're going to look up one day and be dinosaurs that deserve the labels of ridicule we'll be getting from younger people.

HTNL 5 is upon us and I've barely scratched the surface of HTML 4. I spend so much time creating contest that I lag behind on design and content delivery vehicles. I liked the post on My Ink Blog, in which Chris Thurman asks us to Blue Collar Designers: 5 Lessons From the Lunch Pail. Having dealt with many blue collar workers who are the basic builders of structure and infrastructure, I see his points. But the thing that also comes to mind, if the analogy is taken too far, is that a certain number of blue collar workers are so exhausted at the end of their working day that they are tempted to grab a six-pack and collapse for the remainder of their waking hours. At the end of a day spent working on design and content there are many other things still to be done and there needs to be energy and enthusiasm for those activities. Balance is key. It's not a new problem for society, but it's been flapping in my face lately. If we're going to work even a little like blue collar workers we're going to have to find time to pack that lunch pail and maintain a social life after navigating high-rise girders all day. Now, do we have to look good doing it or can we still get away with sweatpants and bedroom slippers?

posted at: 10:39 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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