Young womanIt’s Autumn in the United States.  For me in Virginia that means cooler days and crisp nights.  It means the air is fresher and filled with the scents of falling leaves and corn being turned into silage.  It also means my husband has been preparing the wood we’ll be burning to keep our log cabin snug and warm all winter long. (Most of you know how I rave about Lumberjack Hugh.  Lumberjack hubby?  Yum!;>)


Oh, how I look forward to sipping coffee with him by the fire again!


Unlike the numerous tech gadgets I find myself addicted to… Ipod, cell phone, Dell notebook, digital camera…I have to unplug in order to recharge. 



It’s true.  As much as I love Facebook and Twitter, it’s necessary for me to cut myself off from them at times if I want to plug into what I love best: writing.


In a world taken over by portable distractions, it’s very easy to spend all our time refreshing social networking sites rather than giving ourselves permission to tune out and unplug—for an afternoon or longer—in order to get lost in our own imagination.


Since when is a link to a hot picture of Nathan Fillion kissing an Emmy more important than taking your heroine or hero to the next level?


Since when is another cute kitty picture with a funny new caption more important than getting to The End?


Those aren’t bad things in and of themselves.  There’s a good argument to be made that *any* pic of Nathan is vital for inspiration!;)  And, heck, who doesn’t like kittens?  But it is possible to have too much of a good thing.


When you finally turn to your manuscript to get in your word count for the day, what do you have cluttering your brain? 


Mafia Wars…recipes…jokes…links….


All in good fun, but not necessarily fruitful.


Go ahead…try it… UNPLUG. Internet network cables and girl


Take a walk, soak in a bubble bath, sit by a crackling fire…and while you’re at it immerse yourself in your story, your characters, your what-comes-next.  You might be amazed to find that you aren’t stuck in the middle of a tricky passage or confounded by a plot problem.  You were simply too distracted to hear your muse!

4 Responses to “You…Unplugged”
  1. Sam Hunter says:

    So, so true. This is exactly what I have been thinking/feeling lately. My imagination has been on and off since RWA — in late spring, early summer, I was in a fantastic writing groove, and while I still played around online, it wasn’t in the forefront of my brain — writing was.

    Since RWA (it’s so easy to blame the conf, LOL, and I don’t think it was that… I thin that was just a time marker) everything has been more of a struggle, and let’s face it, when writing is a struggle, so much easier to chat on Twitter. Or a blog….hum dee dum….. Hmmmmm.

    Okay, point taken. Back to work. After I post a cute kitten picture I have on Twitter — seriously…. 😉


  2. Sam Hunter says:

    OKay, now I’m going to change my mind… a little.

    I think it might have to do with the kinds of interaction you have — there are a lot of creative interactions online. I’ve been hung up on a scene and character for a few days, and it’s started to cause me all kinds of stress. I did end up going online and talking it out in a few places, but then, this afternoon, in the middle of “play” on Twitter, I was popping back and forth w/ the ms and BAM I saw the connection I needed, the way in… I had been working toward it, had pieces, but didn’t see the way they all linked in.

    I think the distraction and kind of goofing around at Twitter/Fb probably loosened up enough of my stress so that while I was writing, I saw what I was missing the other three days I did actually not go near the net, and was only writing all morning.

    So, go figure.

    I do think if you are mired in it too much, and maybe especially if you are involved in negative, draining things like arguments or flame wars or whatever, that can be bad — that’s always bad — but I think the play factor can be helpful…


  3. Yesterday a tree fell on the power lines/phone lines and completely knocked us off the grid. LOL How ironic that I had just blogged about unplugging! I definitely did not mean to quit cold turkey for almost 24 hours with no notice.

    Unplugging for a few hours each day in order to mull over an idea or relax or write is completely different from being unable to connect, let me tell ya’!

    I’m glad you were able to find what you were missing online while you were relaxed and playing, Sam.

    I guess listening to ourselves and what our bodies/minds need is really the key:)

  4. susan leech says:

    I take a certain time to just unplug and do things that has no connection to electricity. No phone calls, computer or tv. Just a book or a letter I write to a friend and I curl up in my easy chair to do these things. My hubby and I may go for a drive and look at what God has offered us to enjoy and again no special items is required except the van of course. It is a way to stop and smell the roses. susan L.

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