• Louise Rachel Malhi

Why I am not writing. Or why I am - a Black Mirror style review on technology!

The thing people assume, is you must be writing all the time. That would be great, but in reality we don't. I probably send more daily words over email and Whatsapp than actually 'write'. Why? because life and technology just get in your way! Most of the time. Most writers, even fairly successful ones have other jobs. They may work full-time so only write in the evenings, have families, have to care for someone. Okay, so that is all fairly obvious, but what about when they do have time to write - what are they doing?

Procrastinating! A lot of the time! Well not all the time, or no words go down on paper, but I bet there is a lot of 'non-writing' happening. Facebook, instagram, Brexit news, Whatsapp (ping, ping, ping - wait, what? Who just got fired? They just got engaged, no way!) Yeah, technology means we get distracted so easily we cannot focus on the task at hand. Being brought up in this generation, I am terrible for these distractions. I want to send that message to my friends instantly! I just cannot wait and push it aside. I have already looked at my phone whilst typing this blog.

My debut novel is focused on a dystopian world where media technology has 'taken over'. I haven't focused on a Black Mirror style thought process, taking one element from the advancing technology and amplifying that particular advancement to drastic levels, but have focused on a world where technology and media are so profitable, the corporations run the cities. The top billionaires in our world, are tech companies. Hey Amazon founder is the richest man globally. When people are as wealthy as some countries, it is no surprise they can control and manipulate the countries way of thinking. Hopefully for the better. But nah, not in my book! I have all the classic retinal implants, media propaganda and big brother style corporations (hey, just expanding on the cookies our computers have now - you think your device knows you inside out - shows you adverts you want to see - wait to see my world in Forged Purity). But hey, it makes money - so it keeps the country running right? Well it does in my book.

So it all sounds bad - loss of identity, privacy, autonomous thinking etc. . . But I love it. I've grown up with it, and I couldn't be without it. And who said the bad guy is always the bad guy? I couldn't have written my novel without it. So yes, I will be distracted by the buzz of the immediate need to access all my social media accounts and messages 24/7 - but I still get things done, because when I write, this is about the only thing in the world (and reading) where I can fully draw myself away from those procrastination's. How? Because you transport into another world and you leave this one behind, along with all the distractions.

So when I am not writing, I am being distracted, and maybe the distraction has stopped my writing occasionally, but generally when I disappear to another universe, I leave many of those distractions at home.

Are you the same? What truly gets you away from the technology of today?

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