Why going ‘off-grid’ is important for the creative process

Why going ‘off-grid’ is important for the creative process

I just spent three days alone in Dublin.

I’ve been to Dublin before, so exploring the city wasn’t my top priority. There really wasn’t much left for me to see that I haven’t already seen (except the Book of Kells. If you’re a writer or any sort, you should check this ancient artefact out).

I just wanted to read and write, be with myself and spend some time planning a few projects.

I rented a small boxed room through AirBnB. One window, a microwave oven and a basic toilet/shower combo. Single bed, too.

For most of this trip, I spent time locked off from the outside world in my AirBnB.

I ate alone. I drank coffee alone. I slept alone. I turned my phone off, too.

It was glorious.

I read for about five hours straight.

I had at least a hundred ideas for short stories, all of which made it onto paper in some form or another.

I wrote an introduction to a novel I’m working on to help me decipher exactly what it is I want to say.

I sorted my writing website out.

I got on top of my Medium profile again.

I found the reset button.

But it wasn’t Dublin that did this. I could have locked myself away in my room at home in London and done exactly the same thing.

But I would have been distracted. I would have felt like I was missing out. I would have probably gone to see friends. Had a beer. Watched TV… You name it, I wouldn’t have been this productive.

I came here for one reason: I wanted time.

Time is invaluable to the creative process. It’s the only fuel that’s needed when it comes to making something.

Although this wasn’t as ‘off grid’ as I’d like to eventually go, it was good enough. Nobody knew where I was. Nobody bothered me. My phone sat silent.

And I created in peace.

This year, I’ve been to Oslo, Dublin, the Peak District and Scotland for this exact reason.

There’s something about ‘escaping reality’ that allows us to breathe, to think and to organise our minds enough to translate them into art.

Forever shall I take trips of this kind, and forever shall I feel they’re never wasted.