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JOAN BARTH ON: TECHNOLOGY AND CREATIVITY

September 27, 2010

Your iPhone rings. How do you stay focussed when technology keeps interrupting you? To be creative, you must concentrate on your subject. In the modern world, technology is always tugging at your attention. Will one email contain a treasure? Can you afford to miss it?

So you answer the ring and lose your creativity. None of the emails contain a treasure. So you return to your writing. Now your train of thought eludes you. Trying to return to your thought takes time. And it is boring.

You go to your iTunes so there will be some background noise. Then you hear “You’ve got mail.” Back you go to your email. This note requires an answer. You answer it.

Again, you return to your project. It is even harder to return to it. You ask yourself if you answered the email question adequately. You decide you haven’t and send an additional note.

Back to creative thinking. Nothing has helped you focus. Turn off technology. An author needs time to wallow.

What do you do to help your creativity? Do you set aside time to be uninterrupted?

My mother scheduled Monday as washday; Tuesday as ironing day; Thursday as pork chop day. I read emails on Wednesday and Saturday. If a person needs me urgently, they telephone me. Thank God for caller ID.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 3, 2010 6:26 AM

    Interesting post.

    When I’m writing, and have a good block of time to devote to it (at least an hour, usually in the morning before anyone else is up) I dial up Zoe Keating on my iPod and everything else disappears. It’s weird. Cello music seems to enclose me in a cocoon of creativity.

    The advantage of getting up at 4 to write (I have a full time non-writing job that pays the bills) is that I don’t get phones calls, and no emails at that time of day are remotely urgent (except for that Nigerian chap that has $5 million just waiting for my bank details).

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