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Unplug

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Social media can thieve away my creativity. I know it does, but some days I don’t have the will power to fight against it. Because looking at Pinterest or checking Facebook is easy. Writing is hard. And if I don’t write, then I won’t write badly, see? It’s easier not to try.

Pathetic, I know. Especially since I’m trying to write a freaking novel.

But that’s the whole problem. I’m trying to write a freaking novel. It is the most challenging writing task I have ever faced. My senior honors thesis in college – the writing project I loathed to the essence of my cells by the time it was finished – was cake in comparison. Because then, I just had to have thoughts about what somebody else wrote.

But now, everything must come from me. The characters, their problems, their joys, their struggles, their triumphs – it all must come from my head and my heart.

That is really hard. It can exhaust me. I have already cried over these characters’ lives. I have lain awake at night thinking about them. And – I thought this was just a writers’ myth – I have been surprised by them. (How can you be surprised by something that comes from your own brain?)

But when my days are crammed with other responsibilities, and when the ideas no longer flow like water, then writing is hard. It is hard to make myself delve into these lives again, especially when I don’t know what else to do with them. When I look into their faces and they just stare blankly back at me. When I search their histories, their minds, their spirits, and come up with nothing. It’s frustrating and discouraging, and while it may not cause blisters on my hands or sweat down my back, it is difficult, demanding work.

But today, I’m logging out of Facebook. I’m shutting off Pinterest. Maybe I’ll write today, or maybe I’ll just let my brain rest and detoxify from social media. Perhaps what my mind requires on this misty, foggy spring afternoon is a nap under a cozy blanket or a walk through the woods.

And if you see me on Facebook today, nudge me in the right direction.

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About Karen Koch

I like the old-fashioned lifestyle. All this new-fangled stuff baffles me sometimes. I cherish living out in the country, raising chickens and rabbits, planting fruit trees, and enjoying a slow life filled with beautiful words and ideas. I don't always achieve a slow life. I teach middle school English and manage a little burgeoning farm with my husband, and somewhere in the midst of that, I try to find time for writing, running, knitting, reading, and playing the ukulele. And sometimes, I actually succeed.

2 responses »

  1. A good word for us all.
    I need to limit online time as well and be driven by what’s most important.
    Don’t give up on that “freaking novel”
    !

    Reply
  2. If I can become invested in the characters in a book I imagine that being the author is even worse! Or better 🙂

    Reply

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