I’m not going to lie: As well as the Internet has served our far-flung Network, I sometimes think – or, more accurately, daydream – about taking us offline entirely. I fantasize more about the Network championing the analog virtues of reverie and contemplation than I do about windfall donations or in-perpetuity grants.
(I might shouldn’t have written that here, where the board can read it.)
So you can imagine how charmed I was a year or two ago, when Analog Sea first contacted me.
Nope, their link isn’t broken, and I didn’t forget to add it. They have no link. They have no website. They are, by their own definition, “a small community of writers and artists wishing to maintain contemplative life in the digital age. We publish hardbound printed books and a literary journal, The Analog Sea Review.”
They also print and distribute a free Analog Sea Bulletin, with brief features and snippets from their next Review, which is how they introduced themselves to me.
“Advocating for the human right to disconnect,” they write in their “Editorial Vision,” “we celebrate offline culture and the work artists create in solitude, that vital stretch of time when distraction fades and deep wells of thought and feeling emerge.”
The Network exists to help alleviate that solitude, but we do not deny its desirability, even necessity, for most-if-not-all writers. At our conferences and on our website, writers can learn, refine, connect. You can promote your work, seek and find publication or representation for your work, get inspiration or encouragement for your work.
You cannot work, though. You cannot do the grunt work, the dreamy work, of writing.
Analog Sea’s books and Review are available at more than 190 bookstores throughout North America and Europe, or you can contact them at –
PO Box 11670
Austin, TX 78711
(They do have an e-mail address, but I’m not going to give it to you.)
Once again, I’m not going to lie: I’ve been finding my attention span shorter and less durable than it used to be. That’s on me, not the Internet – which, after all, is only a tool, and often a miraculously useful one – but our online-all-the-time culture doesn’t help. My job as a writer, and as a reader, and as a human being, is to strike the proper balance between connectivity (which is not connection) and contemplation, between information and and reverie.
I know the Network’s not going offline. My daydreams will stay only that. I only need to carve out more time for daydreams.
The Analog Sea Review: Call for Submission
The Analog Sea Review is an offline journal distributed to independent bookstores throughout Europe and North America. We are interested in hearing from writers and artists who find ways to maintain contemplation and focus in the digital age. Please send us your stories and poems as well as any essays exploring this emerging field of offline culture. We also welcome submissions from visual artists for our cover artwork and select interior pages.
Currently, we pay from 50 to 200 EUR/USD for one-time rights which revert back to the author upon publication. Please mail your typed, printed submission (8,000 words or fewer) to Analog Sea at [the] address below. Include a very brief biographical statement along with a self-address stamped envelope if you would like us to return your submission. Artists, please send only photographic reproductions of your work and not originals.
If you are interested in Analog Sea and would like to receive future copies of our free bulletin, even if you have nothing to submit at this time, please do send us a letter.
PO Box 11670
Austin, TX 78711