Turn Down The Noise

Today’s Daily Post question asks if I would choose to be a) able to write but not read blogs or b) read but not write.

I don’t write enough. I read. I read a lot. A common theme in my life over the last few years has been learning to ‘turn down the noise’. I’m easily distracted. I subscribe to a small number of blogs using Google Reader. That number is periodically reduced. I am never without my Kindle. I always have a book or two on the go. It’s been that way since I was ten years old.

It’s interesting that this topic has come up today. I am considering starting The Artist’s Way next week. I’ve read it before and listened to it as an audiobook. I start every morning with Morning Pages: three handwritten pages of what ever is on my mind that second. I love the feeling of following my own thoughts and being present to them on paper. I know that at one point during the twelve week course of The Artist’s Way, there is a moratorium on reading. I could do with that in my life. It is so easy to justify reading. Reading = Good. But reading also equals distraction and procrastination.

I have moved into an apartment with free wifi. This is both a blessing and a curse. It has only been a few days but I remember why I was considering having no internet connection at all. The internet sucks time and energy. There is always something to read online. I have a wonderful little application on my mac called Freedom. It blocks out the internet for a set number of minutes. It’s an amazing tool. It turns off the noise.

Several years ago I read a book called The Highly Sensitive Person: How To Survive When the World Threatens to Overwhelm You. At the time, reading it helped me to put my life and my reactions into perspective. I was living in a busy city and I was frazzled. Having a label, a name I could use, helped me to say ‘enough’. I don’t know if the HSP label still applies to me. It probably does. I can’t sleep with noise or bright lights. I have to take frequent periods of solitude to be happy but the happiness I feel in that stillness is beyond compare.

With the noise turned down, I can hear my thoughts and I can sense my direction.

Given the choice, I would spend huge periods of my life with the noise of the human world turned down. That choice is mine. Social apps on my smart phone, Facebook, podcasts, that next song on Spotify. So many distractions, so much noise.

I have much to write about and work towards over the coming months. With the noise turned down, and the distractions aside, I will explore that work in doing and writing, not reading about it.


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