Living a virtual life....

My life is quite surreal. Being a writer these days means living and working largely on the internet. That means that most of my colleagues are people I have never met. I work at home, alone, sitting in front of a computer, for most of the day. I write articles that I send to online publications that then appear a week later. I write books that I send to an agent one thousand kilometers away, who sends them on to publishers that I've never met, who have meetings about me and my book. Yays and nays are then relayed back to me. All this happens on the net, with no laughter or touching or gesturing. The publishers then assign me an editor and I communicate with her/him via emails and edit an entire book without ever meeting or even speaking to an editor outside of the rather intimacy-lacking internet. I approve book covers and send soft copies of my books to people to get endorsements. The first concrete, physical part of the process is to receive a box of hard-copy books in the post.

Last week I was lying in bed, tapping on the computer when my cousin rang to let me know that he just heard a radio station talking about me. I am oblivious to what is going on outside my house.

I read the newspaper online, I pay my bills online, I talk to my friends online and I work online. I live in a town where I know almost no-one. I go to the shops for groceries and various things. I spend days working, nights catching up with the family after their days at work and school. We stay home and watch movies and cook pizzas, play Monopoly and such.

I get to do the occasional radio interview which I do from my office at home unless a local station invites me in. I go to the occasional book launch - my own or those for other writers I have met online. If I absolutely must, I go to the school for meetings and special events.

I get emails from strangers who have read my work and they become new online friends. I keep old friendships alive on Facebook.

It seems everything in my life is run by remote control. I live, work and play in the control tower and just press buttons to make everything run smoothly. This is beginning to drive me insane.

I want to move back to Sydney and play with real friends, drink lattes and laugh. I want to have power lunches with agents and publishers. I want to write longhand.

I want sunlight.

If my phone and internet went down......I'd frankly....just disappear.......

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