34 Comments

“The internet does not spark joy.” 😆 Love this.

I love this idea, and I recently (only one month so far) have put myself on an information fast for the last 4 days of my cycle. No books, no internet, no news, no podcasts. I chose my bleed days because I’m already highly anxious and tired those days and I chose 4 because in tarot numerology it represents stability. It probably won’t be a perfect fast, but at least once a month I’ll remember to not consume/fill up with information and just rest and digest. 🙏🏽

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I love this idea - of not making this permanent but of recognising times of vulnerability and adapting to that.

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I like this idea. I would do it the days leading to my periods as I am highly emotional and could do a few days without so much outside noise

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Yes, yes, yes. Since October 7, i stopped using Instagram, Facebook and I stopped reading newspapers and watching the news. I gained so much more time, and I stopped feeling helpless. I talk much more with family and friends instead of reacting on social media. My love tells me when there is news I need to know. I read some Substack but not notes or every week. Peace of Mind makes me more creative too, drawing, textile art, knitting.

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After spending my whole night and morning scrolling away 😅 this is the reminder I needed to put the phone down. Thank you 🙏

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May 25Liked by Anna Brones

I had just been dealing with some heavy issues and was feeling a little down, but I came across your Creative Fuel email and somehow feel I can carry on in a more positive light. Thank you. What you do matters.

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That means a lot, thank you ❤️

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YES YES YES TO ALL OF THIS!

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You had me at the bicycles here, Anna. I just finished my first longish bike ride of the season, and yes, it was a wonderful idea generator! I so appreciate your words on distraction. I know that I have plenty of company in this problem, but it helps to hear/read about someone else's struggles with it and also some ways to unplug. Thank you!

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I have to watch it so not every single essay is about bicycles ;)

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Jun 1Liked by Anna Brones

Ha! Yes, your bicycle/creative retreat sounded wonderful.

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Straight to my heart, this one! I am in a long, rather unexpectedly tortuous process of giving up my smartphone and spending way too much time examining my own relationship with its various affordances and asking which of them are a useful tool in my work and life (the voice memos app), which are things I enjoy but don't need (Merlin Bird ID), and which are something I know I'm hanging onto because they're helping me escape long-term difficult situations (YouTube). It's amazing how few years I've had a smartphone, and how daunting it feels to let some of its offerings go, no matter how little joy they spark.

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I appreciate this Antonia! Doing something like this hovers at the back of my brain on most days. Part of me wants to pay attention, part of me (the part that likes dopamine) does not. Your comment is a nudge to the first part.

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They say that the more things you do in the day, the faster it goes. It can also be said that the more things you do in a day, the longer it lasts. The difference may be what we fill our days with. Do we fill it with work, with tasks that need doing, with obligations and appointments and general business? Or do with fill it with family, friends, expressions of ourselves. Do we fill them with wonder?

As much as productivity and efficiency has its place, there needs to be space in our lives for time well spent.

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May 26·edited May 26Liked by Anna Brones

Ahh this morning I'm attempting to slowly reenter the world after six days luxuriating in slow, unplugged, long-distance train travel (much of it without access to internet). I spent the first two days thinking I should be writing and reading on the train but then I thought about pretty much everything you've written here and opted to let my mind wander with the landscape. Connections and unexpected mind-destinations are the precious gift of slowing down and allowing the expansiveness to go where it wants to take you... Thank you for sharing these thoughts, as always, Anna!

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It's the challenge of our times. I've just resolved to remove one thing a day (be it an app or some other distraction) that I think I need but actually don't. Thank you.

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I’ll be sleeping in a tent for at least 6 weeks this summer ☀️ rain or shine!

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Yes!!!

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Yes!! I think about this, write about it and work with it (I’m a mindfulness teacher amongst other things). I need quiet. Crave it. I need time to just rest my brain. I can feel when I’ve been sitting with screens too long. It gets all crackly in there, like my body is disconnected and starts grabbing for my phone without me realising it. I’m glad we are many who are writing, thinking, talking about this…. Putting my phone down now!

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I agree absolutely with you! I went for a 3days trip with 3 friends. Visiting without our phones, only taking photos. I felt very quiet. And like you I fell back into digital addiction thé day after.

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Yea seriously. I've been feeling all of these things. Seriously contemplating a summer long break from the Instagram. And how can I do more/less with my time. More things that are important to me and less of the bs. I'm looking forward to in person conversations about all of this with you soon!

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Thank you. I woke from a vivid dream where my teacher said, shut up. Just shut up.

I will do this. Shut up. Listen. Trust. Right now there's a few morning birds having a conversation outside my window. So I'll shut up and just sit. And listen to the morning birds

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May 25Liked by Anna Brones

So many thanks here!

1. For reminding me to go meet the Saturday open water swim group and at least dip, which I did (and then went home and got in the hot tub!)

2. For reminding me that so much of our writing happens when we're not staring at a page.

3. For reminding me of NPR's interstitial music. I met a former producer of All Things Considered a while ago. Apparently, those interstitial pieces are carefully chosen, for example, Arrogant Bastard Song following an interview with a politician in not a coincidence.

4. For reminding me of "If Books Could Kill."

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I’m so glad someone made it to the footnote :)

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May 25Liked by Anna Brones

Some of those books! Hours of my life that I'll never get back. I could add a few...

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Ha! The joke in my household right now is that my main goal in writing a book is not to end up on that podcast or Maintenance Phase :)

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May 25Liked by Anna Brones

Maintenance Phase! Thank you! I think...

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