Earlier this week, the Internet connection to my studio went down and I was reminded how peaceful the disconnected life can be.
I had no Internet when I first moved into my Chapel of the Imagination, as I call my one-room studio tucked into a wooded corner of our land. At first, I was stunned by the intense quiet; I wrote with concentration and focus.
It was only when I returned to the house to use the printer or send email that I fell into those black holes of distraction: Facebook, news, solitaire.
As my blogging output increased, I had to return to the house and connect more frequently for fact checking, uploading photos and formatting posts. Reluctantly, I wired the studio to the Internet, which saved me the walk to the house, but where I often succumbed to the time suck of cyber distraction. Even when I was on-line to research a subject, I found myself spinning into information that was as off-topic as it was interesting – and hardly better than going deep into Facebook.
So when my connection went down, I was amazed how quickly my focus returned, and how sharp my mind without all the cyber static that has crept into my workspace.
The combination of turning off the static and physically shaping my words on the page has been profound. I’m recapturing the sustained quiet where my imagination is most audible and my ability to capture my ideas into words most profound.
In order to protect this renewed quiet, I’m turning off my email and silencing my phone in the studio. By disconnecting to the interruptions and distractions of the Internet, I’m concentrating on the words and stories at hand.
What are your distractions and how do you tame them?
Note to my Readers: I wrote Lessons from the Long Trail after hiking from Massachusetts to Canada along the spine of Vermont’s Green Mountains in 2016. This summer I’ll be hiking from Alaska into the Yukon along the Chilkoot Trail. While I’m gone, I’ll be republishing some favorite posts both here and at Living in Place. I hope you’ll check them both out. I’ll look forward to reading and responding to your comments when I return. All best.