Digital Decluttering to Improve Your Writing

Right now, there’s a lot of panic going on around us. It’s stressful, taking up a lot of mental capacity, and self-quarantining is already taking its toll on people. There’s negative news, false spreading of information, and for some reason, a celebrity video of singing is going around? I don’t get it.

It’s easy to get sucked up in the negativity and panic, which is why I’ve taken the time to do another digital declutter.

The first time I did it, I had just discovered minimalism (decluttering of my physical space) and writing. Wanting to take it a step further, I took a look at my ‘friend’ lists on all my social media platforms and unfollowed or deleted people that either only spread negative information or just didn’t bring me any sort of satisfaction. On top of that, I temporarily disabled most of my accounts (minus my blog where I was recording my experiences and practicing writing).

I even did a declutter of my files, photos, and other miscellaneous programs on my computer. I emptied space in the physical and digital world… and it emptied space in my mental world.

When I logged into my computer, I no longer saw a messy desktop. I didn’t feel the need to pull up the internet to scroll over four different social media platforms. Instead, I opened my computer and I saw the one thing that brought me excitement — writing.

Without the lure of social media notification satisfaction, I searched for it in other places. I started exploring my writing and developing my skills. I went out and experienced the town around me. I made time for friends and values that I had started to neglect.

Even away from writing, I felt my skills improving. I was experiencing the world, discovering new creativity, and letting my mind wander. I saw my writing take off, and in just a few months, I wrote three stories out of nothing. It was the most exciting and passion-filled time I’ve ever experienced.

Now I’m doing it again.

I’ve started unfollowing people who share negative or false news. I’m blocking posts that are only created to cause panic. I’m sharing the love and goodness I see but keeping my time limits on apps. Instead of scrolling endlessly, I look at social media with intention.

In doing so, my writing has improved. I’ve been able to re-outline a new book. I’ve finished the final touches on my soon-to-be-published second novel. I started working on my third book. I’ve continued to write on things I am passionate about.

And I’ve also used the time to connect.

With all the online stress, it’s great to see a community of support growing online rather than spreading panic. The writing community has come alive, even more than before. Individuals are sharing their creative quarantine tips and using the time to build their writing practice. They are sharing prompts, useful writing ideas, and sharing awesome books.

Not all things are bad in the world. In times of panic, a community emerges to help ease the nerves — and it’s one I’m proud to be with. Let’s share our writing love. You can find my last article on writing tips for quarantine if you need some encouragement or ideas.

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