Friday Speak Out!: Just Turn it Off

Friday, October 30, 2015
by Elizabeth Joyce

I haven’t written in three months. My addiction to social media is to blame. It started from logging on once a week to frequent checks throughout the day. I write on a tablet which has a removable keyboard. The accessibility of switching from Word to apps in seconds lured me into making a purchase.

One day the tablet wouldn’t turn on. “This can’t be happening!” I thought, as my finger repeatedly pressed the power button. Priorities needed to be addressed when I wondered about a friend’s recent post instead of written essays lost to cyberspace. After learning it would be two week until my tablet could be replaced, I knew the universe wanted to teach me a lesson.

The forced isolation reminded of reminded me of hours spent as a child crafting silly poems on paper. I grabbed an old notebook and wrote in free style. Three pages later an idea popped out of my loopy handwriting. I did more writing in one afternoon than the entire summer. There was no backspace key to distract me. A page of words left me satisfied as a writer.

Can balance be achieved between social media and the written word? Once I’m “connected” again, the plan is to set the timer for ten minutes. After “likes and shares,” everything gets turned off.

Pen and paper helped me overcome writer’s block. What’s more important is these tools never require technical assistance!
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Elizabeth Joyce is an assistant Children’s Librarian and is a member of the Candlewood Writer’s Group. She is now working on a new play and hopes her new revelation culminates in a rough draft before the holidays.
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Mary Jo said...

I can so relate! Enough so that I actually deleted my FB account several months ago. It was a major time suck. Of course, Pinterest, blog reading and Twitter have replaced it, but not as bad.

I also agree with writing by hand. On paper. There is something so visceral about that connection, it just starts the idea well pumping! I, too, used to write so much more before I owned a computer. But I try to take "digital detoxes" every so often to reconnect to the page. Good luck!

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