A step back. That’s what a lot of people are telling me about the internet these days – they’re taking a step back.  They’re weary of giving their time and energy to people mediated through pixels.  8540586760

And I so hear them. I so, so hear them.

Many days, I wish I could step back – maybe step out, all the way. Spend my hours walking the trails here on the farm, baking bread, sewing animals.

But I can’t. I make my living online. I buy yarn and tax bills and goat fencing by finding clients mostly online.

When you make your living as a solopreneur (I like that term because I like the association that I might be able to fly a pirate starship.), your network is your life. When you write and edit for a living, when you live on a farm in a county with one stop light, you need the internet.

I love the people I have found in this pixelated world, the genuine friends I’ve made here. I’m grateful for the clients that come to me via email or Instant Message, so thankful for the opportunity to Skype a class.  These connections – even more than the work – are why I love the Internet.

But I struggle. I struggle with staying offline for any period of time – my solo-ness in my work making me crave the chats I used to have in office doorways or with students after class.  So I log on, check Facebook, lose track. Lose time.

So, I’m trying this today and will tweak it for days.  I’m going to try checking in with everything first thing in the day – email, Twitter, Facebook, blog, etc. – then I’m checking out again until lunch and then out again until the end of the day – my 1,000 words done, my client work finished. I”m hoping this schedule will help me find the balance of being available to clients, students, and friends and being available to my own thoughts and experiences.

I’m weary of the addiction to constant new information. I’m aching for the time and space to think deeply, to think long, even as much of what I want to ponder comes from people here, on this amazing medium.

So here’s to balance. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Have you found any successful strategies for finding balance in terms of the Internet?

 

In two weeks, we will be beginning our third month of the Online Writing Community. Each week, participants receive a writing prompt via email, Also, some members choose to get critique from me or to participate in an online workshop.  Every member has the option to be a part of our casual Facebook group, where we share goals and ideas, successes and struggles. We encourage, we commiserate, we gently push.  We’d love to have you join us.  More details and the means to sign up are here. Join now and receive a bonus writing prompt as well as free admission to my grammar class in November.