Recently I experienced a forced internet fast (where I did stuff like play with mosquito killing tennis rackets).
The internet connection in Myanmar was not too hot. Factor in a nasty stomach situation and you have said fast.
Instead of complaining like a baby who lost its rattle I’m sharing 7 blogging lessons during this period of solely offline activity. To help you gracefully embrace your own forced internet fasts.
1: Letting Go Helps You Grow
All true growth is had in surrender and release.
I chose to spend these days completely surrendering to circumstances; first, the poor internet connections, then, being sick. No complaining or worrying or whining, which would have indicated clinging, or a heavy attachment to the internet.
Letting go has helped me grow in many ways. I’m thinking more clearly and more creatively. I’m reviewing how I can tweak my blog and online income streams. All because I surrendered to circumstances I could not change.
2: Spirit’s Got Ya Back (or Trust in the Process)
If you are more spiritually minded, being offline for an extended period shows how things will continue to grow and flourish for you and your blog because spirit has got your back. Something bigger than you or I connects through all of us and whether we are online or offline that connection still exists.
If you are less spiritually minded simply trust in the process. My blogging process has unfolded over the past 8 years; spending a few days offline is a blip on the cyber radar screen as my online momentum continues to grow.
3: The Interwebs Don’t NEED Your Participation
The internet does not need me. Otherwise, cyber space would have collapsed a few days back when I went Zero Dark Thirty.
TOM – The Old Me – foolishly believed I needed to show up online daily, to make an impact. The new me realizes this: the internet does fine on its own. If life intervenes, the internet will do just fine without me.
4: Being Offline for a Bit Heightens Your Powers of Observation
I spotted firefighters dressed up more like the US Coast Guard working at a “fire force” during a recent walk in Inle Lake, Myanmar. I also noted the make and model of their firetrucks, the look on the smoke eater’s faces and the neat and tidy nature of the fire force aka the fire station.
I’m developing a Terminator-like, laser-focused concentration when it comes to observing the world around me. Like a blogging detective. From the fact that although the bikes in Inle are traditional Burmese rides like in Bagan – where we visited prior – these bikes sit higher and house more robust, stout, sturdy tires.
2 men rode by on bikes asking if we wanted to tour the lake. One man promised a cheap price. The other man yelled “San Francisco”, after we told him we were American. (Seemed like a weird response.)
When you go offline for a minute you will notice more, observe more, and simply watch more of what’s going on around you. This is an invaluable skill for any blogger.
5: Being Offline for a Bit Helps You Think More Clearly Online
I was able to open my gmail for only 2 minutes during this internet fast.
I felt relaxed, calm, peaceful and clear thinking as I checked only 3 emails before the internet crapped out again. Because when you’re offline for an extended period you see the internet is not really important at all. Even if you make a living THROUGH the internet, the internet is not the SOURCE of how you make a living.
Being armed with this attitude I thought clearly and calmly during those 3 minutes of rare internet time recently. No racing thoughts, no desperate clinging to email or my blog, just a pleasant, peaceful experience.
6: Open Your Blog to Guest Posting
I will likely not publish a post to Blogging From Paradise for over a week.
But when I get online again I will have plenty of work/play waiting for me.
Opening my blog to guest posting has helped me to publish posts on auto pilot. If I am online or offline, sleeping or working, skilled bloggers send me content, And if you’re traveling some place where the internet is not so hot you can spare yourself the worry of having to do the blogging bit all on your own.
7: Expect a Creative Surge
Rare times, indeed, as I have only written 1-2 posts daily during the forced fast. Note; I fell violently ill for a few of these days. Tough to write posts while sprinting to the bathroom.
Going offline for 2, 5 or 10 days puts you in a different world. A creative world. Instead of being preoccupied with getting – checking emails, social, comments – or even, giving – promoting other bloggers, featuring other bloggers – you give most of your energies to creating something helpful through blog posts and videos.
Now that I’m feeling better I am in the flow. The creative flow.