Last weekend, my computer played up. Suddenly I couldn’t post the fascinating blog item I had written. I couldn’t update my Facebook page.
The computer gave me some kind of message about a “Flash” that had “crashed.” I’m old enough to remember the sputtering rockets of Flash Gordon in the 1950s series that was rebroadcast on the BBC in the early 1970s when I was a kid. That image held off my sense of powerlessness and frustration for about a half minute.
Then I went nuts and hit myself in the head. Yes, full fist to the side of the head. As I watched the little dial on my screen telling me the computer was “still working on it”….on and on. Hit myself in the head six times.
Then I concluded that it was ridiculous to be so frustrated over a computer. (I haven’t hit myself in the head for a decade, and that was when I was divorcing my first wife, so I consider it to be far more excusable, though no less daft.) In fact, I realized that this Flash-crash might actually save me from the attention-deficit disorder known as “writing a blog” and “having a profile online.”
I’m told these things are good for an author, to build a public awareness of his work. But what would happen if I didn’t do them? Suddenly I faced the prospect of (a) getting my computer fixed, or (b) never filing to my blog or updating Facebook or Red Room or Goodreads or Crimespace or Twitter ever again. I like to prevaricate, so (a) seemed quite possible.