Why Write Fiction in 2017? by Joe Fassler
This article has been published on the Paris Review website. It begins:
Most nights, before I go to bed, I sneak into the room where my infant son sleeps, steal across the floor, and kill the wireless router. The plug pulls away from the wall with a soft, satisfying sound, and on the plastic box a row of twinkling green lights blinks out.
I’ve learned I have to do this. Otherwise, in the morning, I’ll succumb to temptation: I’ll rise, open my laptop, and start reading the news. I know that that decision will feel innocuous, even necessary, in the moment. But I also know I want to spend my morning writing as much as I can—and that a working Wi-Fi signal has the power to derail me. Even fifteen minutes of headline-scanning Twitter—if I can limit it to that—leaves me feeling overloaded, angry, panicked, worn out, weirdly high. So instead of flooding my mind with other voices, I back away. My work begins then with an act of disconnection, this physical severing I perform each night before I go to sleep.