Daily Life

Taking a Media Fast

One of the first things I did upon moving up to the city was to join a Artists group.

It is a program of artistic recovery and involves a twelve-week structure of exercises. I first did the program roughly a decade ago when the book first became popular in writing circles. I find it useful to repeat the exercises every couple of years. Moreover, I really enjoy being part of a group because they tend to attract a fascinating mix of people I enjoy getting to know and spend time with.

The one thing I dread in the program is Week #4 because one of the exercises for that week is a week-long media fast. That means: no books, magazines, NPR, TV, movies, music with lyrics, email that is not work-related, frantic reading of the back of cereal boxes, etc. The point of the exercise is to disconnect from the constant stream of information our modern brains are constantly bombarded with so that one can more easily listen to ones own internal voice.

Now, I don’t own a TV and I can fairly easily go a week without that or movies. Music is slightly more difficult as I really enjoy it, but Ive got plenty of music without lyrics. However, I love NPR. And I’m thoroughly addicted to the written word. I am a voracious reader. Books are my sustenance and connection to the outside world. The thought of going without them, my news feeds, or non-work-related email for a week sends me into fits of anticipatory withdrawal.

Which, I’m afraid, also means its likely Ill learn something worthwhile from the exercise. Its hard to say, though, as Ive never actually made it the full week before when Ive completed the program. I’m going to give it my best shot this time, though.

Because I received a decent amount of email related to this website, I will be checking my personal email twice daily.

The good news is that this exercise should free up some time to both work on my house and also to do more actual writing (rather than my obsessively following every bit of news related to the small home movement). Ill keep you posted on how things progress.