Creativity & the Internet

I’m writing this blog post in Word.

I know, a weird way to start a post –> to announce I’m writing it offline, as if you care.

But, this isn’t just about where I’m writing this post, but why.

I got a smartphone a year ago. People laughed at me for years because I was happy with my little flip phone that fit in my pocket. I didn’t mind. I was one of those people who would occassionally even leave it at home. I didn’t want to always be available to whoever thought they’d reach out to me right then.

Not that I don’t love my friends, but as a writer, I like to live in my own head uninterrupt for long stretches. Walks, errands, waiting in line, driving my car, stuck at stoplights, all these places were quiet time where I’d drift into my stories…into my books.

But then my new job wanted me to be reachable 24/7, and, poof! Smartphone.

It was bad enough the internet was so easily available when I sat down to write, but at least my mind was ready to go – excited to get all that brain time on the page. But now, that brain time was gone.

On top of that, the more time I was online, the more negativity I saw. So much of it in the form of “helpfulness” (it’s stupid to do it that way, I’m just telling you so you can be more productive, you’re never going to succeed doing that thing that’s working for you bc that’s not what I do, etc).

And so, I’m giving myself a break. As a writer who loves to interact with my readers and peers AND a person who likes to stay up to date (but doesn’t own a TV) getting rid of the internet completely seemed foolish and irresponsible.

This week, I’m starting an experiment: I get 20 minutes in the mornning and 1 hour in the evening to be plugged in. That sounds like a lot, but when you think about the fact that we’re accessing the internet constantly, well….we’ll see how this goes.

The goal is to reconnect with my own creativity and grasp onto my positive focus more often.

Think I’m crazy? Well…

Most of what I found was really dry psychology papers. Summary: The internet itself does not necessarily hurt creativity and in some cases may be very positive, but just like doing anything to much (do you know how many things on internet addiction came up???) it can sap the energy from any other focus…including creativity.

Yes. Of course. Some of us have to be online for work. But, work time would be work time anyway…and, when you’re doing that are you really working. OR, do you have extra windows open so you don’t miss anything on email and twitter and facebook and instagram and pinterest…and anything I may have missed? How split is your focus?

So, consider it. Consider limiting your internet time in order to specifically focus that energy somewhere else. I’d love to hear from those of you who take up the challenge.


Oh, and see this posting going live at 10:30? It was scheduled because… I’m off getting brain time.

I would LOVE to hear how you protect your creativity and I’ll even answer your comments…tonight during my hour. 😉




  1. I realized a while ago that being online meant I was “on”–I wasn’t relaxing trying to keep up with blogs, forums, social media, email, friends, and my own websites. And being “on” meant my brain was constantly buzzing to the point where my energy for writing started to flag after spending 4-5 hours online! I’m definitely cutting back and turning off the internet on my phone and my Kindle, and spending 1-2 tops online.

  2. I’ve been considering this too. My mind is always running and sometimes it is hard for me to just slow down and be present. Social networking makes it even harder for me. I’m going to take your challenge:) My times just might be a little different.

  3. Good answers in return of this query with firm arguments and telling all regarding that.

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