Imagine for a moment the world of writing is a river. Fast flowing and you are swimming upstream.
The sun is shining, a gentle breeze is blowing and you are happy to be there, after all, writing is your world.
You power on. Your limbs feel strong and your breath comes easily.
There are many other swimmers in the water and the crowd on the river bank is cheering. Someone must have passed the finishing line but you take no notice. Your goal is to get there too.
A fish swims past you in the other direction; it is a Twitter-Fish, small and with one hundred and forty tiny scales, then another and another. You offer them a momentary glance but undeterred, keep swimming.
A clump of weed wraps itself around your foot – it is the Writing- Competition-Weed. Slowing down, you pause to unhook the tangled leaves from your lower limb and watch the weed float away before resuming your trek up river.
A school of Blog-Fish swims past you. Their pretty colours glint in the afternoon light and you are tempted to look more closely, each so different. Aware that time is running out, you pay no attention.
A cloud covers the sun and lifting your head you see some of the crowd drifting away. The water feels cold and your limbs are beginning to tire. Your body feels like it has been in the water for a long time, the muscles in your arms and legs feel frail in the strong current. The skin on your hands is waterlogged and wrinkled. The finishing post seems a long way off. You begin to wonder how important it really is.
“Snap out of it,” you admonish, causing your open mouth to fill with the less-than-clean river water!
Don’t they say, only those who persist, achieve?
A small branch bobs into view. It is from the Writing-Magazine-Tree. How you want to hang on to it, to float down the river in comfort, but no, you struggle on.
The sound of a motor diverts your attention; it is a rescue craft with FB written on the side. The Facebook boat.
A voice calls out, ‘Need a ride? We supply diversion, distraction and self-promotion, hop on board.’
You shake your head.
Ahead and slightly to the right is a small island. It looks familiar though why you are not quite sure. In a flash, you realise you’ve been there before and a smile lights up your face.
As you approach you realise it is Novel Island.
As you haul yourself up the beach in this familiar place you understand that this is where you belong.
The reality that you are an average swimmer who will most likely never reach the finishing post with any great acclaim, sits comfortably on your wet shoulders.
Comfort sings in your veins.
Perhaps it is the chaotic life I am leading right now that has prompted this metaphor and burst of self-reflection. Whatever it is though, I am becoming more aware of the number of distractions that take me away from the very process of writing itself.
I would ask your thoughts on how truly beneficial the many diversions such as Face book, Blogs or Twitter are?