We writers have a tendency to grouse about how difficult it is to stay focused. We distract ourselves with email, FaceBook, Twitter, and phone texts — all in the name of “social networking” — and then we complain about it. Ben Brooks posted a thoughtful article about the importance of taking responsibility for our Digital Interruptions.
But then, Nathan Bransford reminded me that some distractions are necessary, even healthy — the kind that come in the form of real, face-to-face time with friends, walks in the park, time at a museum or bookstore, or just staring at the clouds. These kinds of distractions rejuvenate, rather than deplete our creative energies.
How long has it been since you had a “digital free” day — a day without computers, phones (land or cell), and text messages? How long has it been since you felt your hand twitch toward your phone out of habit, just to check your email? What would happen if you turned everything off for one day? And then, what would happen if you went for a walk or to the beach for the day?
I’ve done it. Not often, because I write on a computer and teach classes over the Internet, and electronic communication is my bread and butter and breath. But I can tell you that it’s an incredibly freeing experience to not be on call for an afternoon or a day, to simply have time to be me in my environment. And I’ve re-discovered these really handy tools called notebooks and pens, which work without batteries! So I can keep writing, even without electricity. Pretty cool.
How about you? When was the last time you were digital free?
Tell us about it …