Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday Talk: Do Smart Phones Affect Creativity?

Today on Tuesday Talk Time, Pink Heart Society editor and Harlequin Superromance author Jeannie Watt discusses the effect of smart phones on creativity.

I’m a daydreamer. I was the kid in school who snapped to attention after the teacher called her name for the second time and wondered briefly what planet she was on. Daydreaming made me a writer. It also got me through many a long and boring car trip, afternoons at the homes of elderly relatives with only one television channel, the pain of waiting in long lines. When I got a job many miles from my home, daydreaming kept me sane during the commute. I plotted books in my head. Characters played out scenes. I debated motivations.

And then I got a smart phone.

I’m not one of those people who check their phone while talking to other people. I tend to keep it in my purse during social events and family time.  But whenever I hit a boring patch in life—a wait in line, a long drive—or, let’s be honest, even short break between classes, out comes the phone. I want to know what’s going on!

It took me a while to realize that I wasn’t spending my down time dreaming any more. I was checking email, Facebook and Twitter feeds.  I now have a two-hour commute to and from work. My husband drives, so in the morning I write. On the drive home, however, when pre-smart phone I would have been going over scenes in my head or dreaming up new books, now I’m checking email and playing solitaire.

I think this has the potential to damage my creative health. I’m not writing in my head as much as I used to. Instead I’m checking the news. I’m not playing out scenes as the miles pass, but instead updating my status—Only two miles to a glass of wine!

The solution? That, of course, is easy. I have to put away my phone. Not use it to entertain myself, but rather as a means of communication. I need to avoid the urge to check anything and everything and instead settle back as I used to do, close my eye and let the dreams begin.

Have smart phones changed your life in ways you didn't expect? Please comment and explain.

Jeannie Watt writes fast paced, character-driven stories set in the American West—a place where cell phone coverage can be hit or miss. To find out more about Jeannie and her books, please check out her website or Facebook page.

A bigger challenge than she expected! 
Shae McArthur once had it all. Perfect job, perfect fiancĂ©. And when she lost everything, it was her own fault. Now she's starting from scratch with one last project—turning the Bryan Ranch around. If she succeeds, maybe she can pick up the pieces of her former life. 
The only problem is the ranch's stubborn—and captivating—owner, Jordan Bryan. He's fighting Shae on every change. What gives? True, his scars prove Shae's not the only one starting over. Still, shouldn't he, of all people, be able to see beyond the surface? Because she thinks maybe they could be each other's perfect new beginning….


  1. I really love this post Jeannie - partly because it strikes so darn true. I always have so many things that I need to do, want to work on, should be cracking on with, but I find myself distracted by my phone or Facebook, or the five or so episodes of The West Wing sitting on my tablet...

    Technology is both a blessing and a cruse sometimes.

    1. So true about the blessing and curse, Alicia. I love having the ability to instantly look up information. That is a true blessing.

  2. True Alicia, technology is a curse! So many social networks to maintain as a writer having to put yourself out there for the world to see! When it comes to actual writing, one is constantly distracted when the words fail to materialise and we fall into the technology trap time and time again.

    1. "When it comes to actual writing, one is constantly distracted when the words fail to materialise..."

      Yes! Excellent point, Sumi. That's what happens to me. But I'm working on retraining myself.