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No Noise

I checked my phone for the third time.

No new emails. No texts. Not even any new posts on Instagram?

That’s when I knew something was seriously wrong.

Turns out, our internet provider (one of the biggest in Canada) was completely down—in fact, down all over the country.

At first, it didn’t seem all that different from any other Friday, since my morning routine doesn’t involve very much internet use. As usual, I walked the dogs, I did some Qi Gong, I showered, I ate a good breakfast.

So far, so good.

By 9:30 AM, hubby was checking the TV (the non-cable channels were still working) to see if there was any news. “Country-wide outages. . . no end-time given for repairs. Teams are working on the problem and it will be fixed as soon as possible.”

And so, I got to work.

And you know what? It was an incredibly productive, enjoyable day.

I created some text for a new program I’ll be introducing in the fall (can't wait to share this one with you!).

I tended to my plants in the garden.

I wrote a bunch of social media content.

I worked on my new Substack essays (more on this project soon—excited to share this one, too!).

I played with the dogs.

I cooked up a bunch of food for the weekend.

I relaxed and read a book (like, a paper book, that I held in my actual hands).

I wrote this newsletter.

I had a long, leisurely lunch with the hubs.

All that before 2:00 PM!

While I’ve long been an advocate of taking a digital detox and perhaps leaving the phone on the side table all day, I’ve never really experienced and entire day—and evening—without any internet access at all. No social media, no email, no texts, nada, either on my phone, my computers, my TV or any other devices.

A funny thing happens to your mind when you don’t have access to the internet.

You actually start using that mind again—in ways you may not have used it for a long time.

Creativity makes a reappearance.

New ideas are abundant and keep showing up unannounced.

Concepts that might have felt confusing or uncertain seem to find their resolutions, and you’re able to make decisions more easily.

It was certainly a calmer and more peaceful day than I’ve had in a long time.

So what’s my conclusion from this involuntary day without online news, social media, texts, WhatsApp, etc?

Just this: if you’re having trouble writing, if you think you have writer’s block, consider that the problem may actually be the opposite.

Rather than have “nothing” to write about, your mind may actually be filled with too much—too much external information, too many ideas vying for your attention, too many demands from others.

And the best way to cure your writer’s block might just be to turn off all your devices.

Sit in the quiet for a while. Pick up a pen and piece of paper (or if you must, write on your computer, but save it to the hard drive).

Once the words begin to flow, you might find that you have much more to say than you realized.

In fact, you might just choose to intentionally turn off all that noise again once in a while.

Looking for some help with your writing, and staying on track? Accountability Coaching might be for you! Check out the details here.

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