Recently, I talked about the prevalence—and damage—of internet addiction in our society. Over-stimulation of our minds on a daily, even hourly basis can act as a major handicap to our creativity and mental focus. If we want to make an impact with our art, it’s important that we address this problem.
Lately, my husband and I have been taking steps to fight our own social media addictions. It’s just so easy to click over to Facebook—or worse, leave the tab open while attempting to work on other things. It’s frustrating and depressing to reach the end of the day, only to look back and realize that you did nothing but waste time, so today I want to talk about five simple, everyday habits you can employ to help fight internet addiction in your own life.
Some days creativity comes easier than others. It’s always nice when the stream is flowing and the words and colors and ideas are coming, but we all know it doesn’t last forever. Sometimes you don’t feel creative. Sometimes, you might even wonder if you’ll ever feel that way again.
When I was in high school, I focused all my spare energy on writing novels. I wrote and wrote and wrote; hundreds of thousands of words. And at first it was easy. But there came a time, shortly after I graduated when I stopped writing almost altogether. It was like the spark of passion I’d had had gone out.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve finally started dipping my toes back into the pool of writing fiction. I’m finally developing a story idea into a real book after more than a year of “absent creativity”—and at last, I had a revelation: my creativity hadn’t really been gone; it had merely been asleep, recharging.
When I was a teenager, my dream was to be a novelist. I would sit in my room at my desk for hours, plotting, writing, editing. The “life of a writer” consumed me. This was all I ever wanted: for it to be me, my characters, and my world. And of course, one day, a best-selling novel. But things didn’t quite work out that way.
Sometimes you just need to journey down a quiet road going anywhere; to wander—and to wonder. Sometimes you need to feel the breeze in your hair and the sun on your skin and just pause: breathe the air of simplicity and forget the hurry of the world, just for a moment. If that’s you right now, you’ve come to the right place.
Last week, my good friend, Isaac Kenneth released his first music album, highlighting the beauty of a life embracing simplicity. He talks about a place that’s quiet; a place that’s safe. It’s a place that feels far away from a lot of us—a place some of us may have forgotten exists. But it’s still there, and his music has a way of transporting you to that world.
We of the 21st century live incredibly cluttered lives. We’re busy, scattered, and often exhausted, trying to keep up with the commitments in our lives, whether it’s work, school, or social engagements. Even when we do have free time, it’s often spent distracted.
We’re conditioned to live at a fast pace; constantly hustling, impatient, and strained. Free time, while important, feels indulgent. With various things competing for our attention each day, it becomes difficult to focus—and sometimes focus is exactly what we need.
The word “simplicity” is a hot topic right now. It’s trendy. If you’re a minimalist, you’re part of the cool crowd, and you’re doing things right. And this is nothing against minimalists—I tend to be one myself, and I think it’s great—but if we define simplicity as synonymous with minimalistic, we’re missing the point.
Simplicity is not a “trend” to be attached to one specific “lifestyle”. It’s not about having less, or religiously shunning any type of privilege or convenience. It’s not a list of do’s and don’ts. It’s a lot simpler than that—really.
We of the millennial generation face more clutter and shiny distractions than any generation before us. We have things like television, radio, ads, email, social media, texting, and more—all at our fingertips, vying for our attention every single day. Things get complicated fast.
We’re in the habit of keeping up with everything—and not because we have to, but because we can. Entertainment and information are everywhere all the time, so why not? We’re used to living with so much mental clutter, we sometimes don’t even recognize how it’s causing us to suffer.