Frequent moves, small shared apartments, the pursuit of simplicity: there were reasons, but.
The process through which my music player, news sources, mail, and writing instrument all came to reside in a single device/interface has been nothing short of a personal disaster.
I really believe this.
Once, as They say, it was a boombox, electric typewriter, handwritten letters, printed newspapers. (And He rested on the seventh day.)
Stereos of varying sophistication and power came and went, but they were always Their Own Thing. The old typewriter was swapped for an unwieldy 386; later I acquired a b/w laptop incapable of connecting to the Net – a glorified typewriter, then. Along the way, indeed, the Internet "arrived," and correspondence shifted to email mostly; but I always had to access the Net from school or work, i.e. not from the hinky little laptop on my main desk at home.
On the eve of September 11, I received a used freebie, an old beige Power Mac G3, and in a single stroke, music, the Net (meaning news and correspondence, mainly, but plenty else as well), and "word processing" were collapsed into this one satanic Ding with/in which I have lived for more than a decade.
Now I endlessly flit from activity to activity – choosing music, checking for new mail, tapping a sentence here, or there, social network sites, oh, God, checking for new mail – never able to hover sufficiently over a single project to produce anything except exhaustion and a sense of Lost Time.
In point of fact, the production of this post comes at the cost of continuing work on an important, paid piece of writing.
Also, my writing habits and compositional energy have not recovered fully, and probably never will, from my quitting smoking: three years ago, nearly to the day.