…when ideas far surpass one’s energy levels? Ideas keep rolling in but I would need a half dozen clones to write everything that comes my way. How about a story of a man who discovers that he’s on the wrong time line because of something that happened in his past? His current life is a mess, but how could he back up and start back on his original timeline? Even if he did, would he be doomed to experience the same problems?

Designing universal knowledge
by Gerlinde Schuller
Lars Müller Publishers, 2009
17 x 24 cm, 304 pages, English
Hardcover, with a large amount of images
ISBN 978-3-03778-149-4
Available at bookstores worldwide

Recently I got into a conversation with some people about how writers can find more time to read. Reading is critical to our own development as writers, yet reading (at least for fun) seems to always get pushed down on the priority list. Add to the daily grind typical family and personal chores and tasks, a few other hobbies and of course that great time sucker, television, and you have a pretty hectic schedule.

The greatest time sucker of all is, however, the internet. How many of you sat down for a few minutes to browse some topics and then discovered you’d spent three hours at it? With the traditional publishing world falling apart and being replaced by digital content, it’s easy for writers to fall into the internet trap as they learn they have to now do most of their own promotion. Publish or perish has been been replaced by “social network or perish” and it is all very time consuming.

This is not intended to be a gripe. I don’t want to hear myself complain anymore than anyone else does, but it all raises some fascinating questions about who we are and where we are going. Perhaps baby boomers such as myself are overly self-indulgent and have spent far too much time pondering the whole “who we are” thing, but it’s a hard habit to shake. As the world around us changes ever faster it’s starting to look like a scene from The Time Machine where the hero watches the world change faster than he can absorb.

I’d like to hear from other boomers, writers especially since we are charged with documenting all this stuff one way or the other, about how you are coping with the modern world. We asked for change and we got it in spades. Is it too much? Too fast? Do people of every generation lament the loss of the past once they exceed age 50? No one warned us what would happen, and if there was a user manual it apparently never made it to press.

In the meantime I am still trying to find time to read a stack of novels and non-fiction books sitting on the floor by my favorite easy chair. Sometimes I think I can actually hear them scream “NO!” as I sit down and pick up the tv clicker. I wonder if one day I will walk in the room to find the television smashed to bits on the floor, covered by piles of books satisfied they’ve finally gotten their revenge on the “new media.” Now about that timeline thing….