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Art is an act of communication, and if we are constantly communicating our smallest thoughts, how will we have time for big ones? Cell phones miniaturize your life, breaking it down into tiny sound bites. I think we call them "bites" for a reason. They tend to devour our time and attention. There's no room for following your own train of thoughts. You can be interrupted at any moment-- and you will be.

Virginia Wolfe said writers needed a "room of their own." Most of us do not have that, but we can build a portable room of our own by turning off our devices when we are working, and taking walks with no cell phone.

Are you willing to experiment with this?

6 Comments on "Communication"

  1. I find it to be a wonderful!

  2. Just spent two weeks away.. with no phone, and not computer. I missed conversing with a few friends.. but didn’t miss it that much.

  3. Timothy Chuks says:

    I think I will try it right from now.

  4. Brenda says:

    I do it anyway. My generation didn’t grow up with mobile communication capabilities, we grew into it. We didn’t know when our phone was ringing if we were out, and we scheduled calls and had answering machines, period. Sometimes it appears rude to others but I am not always available to chat and it feels good.

  5. Profile photo of Miri Stone

    Ohhhh yes. When I’m writing I frequently turn off my phone… especially if I’ve been blocked/struggling to move forward and I know I need to be in the zone…

    I also turn off WIFI on my laptop (as I mostly write from my computer unless I’m jotting down an idea for later in a notebook).

    Sometimes I have music on in the background but often I even find that is a distraction pulling me away from the creative thread…

    In contrast, one of my favourite places to write is a busy cafe or park! It stimulates new ideas when I take a mini break – I see loving moments between a child and a parent, overhear intriguing snippets of conversations between lovers… I like that LIFE is happening around me while I disappear into my imagination… It gives me a sense of connection to the world and creative playfulness/spirit (God).

    If I only write from home and don’t spend time reaching out and connecting with people, then I sometimes feel a creeping sense of dislocation and disconnection from the world and the people I want to share these worlds with… The act of writing is often wonderful – like a warm bath or an electric shock making me want to skip along a beach – but if I remove myself from others it can become a prism of solitude and isolation. I’ve learnt that through my writing practices I can create my experience instead of being beholden to it. It’s my choice as an artist.

    Which brings me back to do I turn my phone off Julia? If the flow is going, definitely. If I’m feeling like I need to focus in and get it down, I will. But if I feel the need to reach out and touch people, to connect my inner world with the outside world, I’ll leave it on and let the spirit and my inner intuition decide if I need to respond to a phone call / text or facebook/twitter. I feel like the voice inside always knows if I should switch it off and go deeper with the muse…

    Inspired much? Thankfully I am,

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  1. A Word from Julia Cameron | Write Out of the Blue

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