Monday, June 06, 2011

Technology: Making Life More . . .

Technology has its uses, but there are times the old fashioned way is easier -- and better.

I've been preparing a package for mailing that needs to be out by June 15. Unfortunately, my laptop did not recognize my printer and every time I deleted a job it hung the computer up for about 24-48 hours. I had to delete the printer and re-install, something I've had to do three times with regard to this particular package. I won't even go into printing the proper postage so I can send the package. It would have been easier to type out a label and take the package to the post office to be mailed, except that since I pay for being able to print my own postage and labels with my laptop it seemed such a waste of money. It was also a waste of time.

So much is made easier by technology and so much has been made more complicated by relying on technology. Heaven forbid we should have to go back to the old days when manuscripts were handwritten and posted to publishers in brown paper tied up in string. There are far too many wannabe and actual authors to have to go through each handwritten manuscript one at a time. The luck of the leprechauns was with you if you received a typewritten manuscript since so few people owned typewriters and knew how to use them. Reminds me of the dark days when the average person couldn't read, and then the printing press made printed books available and then everyone had a better chance to learn to read and decide things for themselves.

Now that I have that last task completed, I think I can move on, but technology may get in the way again. This time the technology is my job, which I do from home and which requires the bulk of my time, leaving little time for reading books to review, or for entertainment, and writing, not if I plan to bathe, do laundry, cook meals, wash dishes, clean house, run errands, buy food, vacuum and garden. No wonder people feel they need servants. There aren't enough hours in the day.

Technology helps with the usual household tasks, like washing dishes and clothing, vacuuming, etc., but the tasks still take time. Machines have to be set up, primed with the right kinds of liquids and powders, loaded and unloaded only to load and unload another machine. Then there's the folding, putting away and hanging up of clothing, and the putting away of dishes to take up more time. And then it's time for shopping for food to prepare for cooking, actually cooking and then eating, creating more dirty dishes, and often dirty clothes when food is spilled, and we're back to the laundry and dish washing again. There are some items that have to be hand washed (dishes and clothing) and that requires more time. I need a housekeeper, and I'll hire one as soon as I can afford it, which I cannot do on the salary I earn with my day job, and there's not enough time to write so I can get another book published and begin earning money on it. It is a vicious circle.

Virginia Woolf was half right. A woman needs a room of her own and sufficient monies to support the writing, but she also needs servants and money to pay for them and technology that doesn't require too much time and energy to work and keep working. I don't want much, just a cabin high up in the Rocky Mountains with a good bit of land, no neighbors, a town that is not too far away nor too close, a guest house and a sturdy lock on the door to keep people out when I'm creating. I also need a housekeeper. Now all I need to do is write more books, publish them and begin to build a recognizable name so people will buy lots of my books and help me afford my decadent lifestyle. I won't even go into the social and business online networking time that needs to come out of the writing, chore, and day job time because it's the reason I am deep into sleep deficit already.