I’ll be spending the next four months in an area of Tennessee where there is little to no wifi or cell service. How about that? We’ve been here a week, and I’ve already seen the changes to my behavior based on this fact.

1. Less time on Instagram and YouTube.

When I’m online, I’m watching YouTube videos. When I’m on my phone (online), I’m on Instagram. Whereas YouTube is more of a spectator sport for me, Instagram is participatory. Due to my lack of cell signal, I am posting less and consuming less. As it turns out, this leads to a.) more writing, b.) less worry about how I’m going to market and sell my books – which leads to more writing, and c.) more exercise.

2. Taking pictures to have them instead of sharing them.

This certainly ties into number one. I’m mentioning it, because I am a photographer. Not professionally (anymore), but I love taking a photo. Portraits and street photography are my favorites. Before the days of Instagram, I’d keep shoeboxes full of my photos taken with film cameras. Three of which, I still have. Cameras. Not shoeboxes. I’ve come back to shooting photos for myself in this short period of time with no cell service.

3. The things I look forward to have changed.

I would often look forward to a couple of hours of television undisturbed with a computer in my lap just farting around on the internet. I do still like to do that. Don’t get me wrong. Given the fickle internet, however, I can’t just plop down and do that whenever I want. I can write whenever I want though! I find myself looking forward to taking 10 minutes here and there to write. Sometimes, when I’m less busy, I get two whole hours! It’s amazing. It’s only been a week. I’m sure the new-car smell of this will fade eventually, but for right now, I feel productive and just disconnected enough to be happy about it.

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