Image credit: Sabrina Ward Harrison
So, last Christmas I got an extra special gift: a publisher asking me to write a book. I completed the proposal and sample chapters while very pregnant with our third child and signed the deal 4 days after he was born. It’s been a wild time. I took the first three months of Caleb’s life as a ‘maternity leave’ but now the rubber meets the road. The writing has begun. I’ve heard it’s the very best (Anne Lammott) and the absolute worst (my colleague and bestselling author Mike Tennant, The Age of Persuasion) part. I’m hoping to strike somewhere in between.
What’s the book about? It’s an expansion of my month-long experiment off-line (www.lettersfromaluddite.blogspot.com.)
Do you wonder about the shape of your life? It is right to wonder. We weren’t born with smartphones in our hands and there won’t be anyone to type our final quip on Twitter upon our death, yet these are the items that dominate our every day.
We live our lives in little silos, faces turned towards iPhones and MacBooks instead of humans. Teens send and receive an average of 3700 texts a month and the average adult spends more than 25 hours per week on the Internet. Our ears are plugged with podcasts and punditry.
“It is very difficult to step out of the immediacy, the ‘necessity’ of media and say “maybe I don’t need this” because we believe we have control over their effects because we made these technologies. But the truth is we make our technologies and they remake us in their image and for their purposes.” – Media ecologist Read Schuchardt
My book will examine the implications of a technologically focused life and the dynamic possibilities for those longing to cultivate a richer on and off-line existence. Through historical data, type-written letters, chapter challenges, and personal accounts from prominent artists, broadcasters, and thinkers, it will create a convincing case for increasing intentionality in our day-to-day lives.
I don’t want to be a killjoy, but we are killing our joy.
There is life beyond the silo. You can find it. Let this book be your guide.
I feel called to this writing and yet I begin with trepidation. I’ve got to dust the cobwebs off the research, off the laptop, out of the brain. I am praying for words of wisdom and insight and that the final result will be sheer joy to read. I welcome all articles, referrals, ideas and high fives!