Turn on the news. Read a paper. Scroll through social media. No matter where you go, it’s hard to avoid today’s world. It seeps in through your pores even when you try your best to switch everything off. Go to the grocery store, and mawkish headlines greet you near the entrance. On the radio, advertisements yell at you to be better, buy this miracle drug, or vote this way because you can’t trust the other guy. Sadly, it’s rarely uplifting. The twenty-first century invites the pain and suffering of others to take a seat beside us on our couches at night or join us for cereal over breakfast. We do not confine fear and loathing to Las Vegas anymore. It’s omnipresent.
Yet, as a writer, you are among the blessed few who can use their work to pull the virtual shutters and leave it all behind. Many people think you need solitude to craft words into the magic that is a fresh new book, but all you need is focus. Just as your readers can turn to your well-honed words to escape, you can use the act of writing as your safe haven too.
The world today offers plenty of distractions, but these same platforms can also provide effective tools you can use to hide yourself away. Ambient videos on YouTube can offer respite from the real world and a chance to listen to the sounds of Victorian England or a medieval apothecary. There are videos for every conceivable destination in time and space. Plug in your noise-canceling headphones, transport your senses to a different place, and allow your words, and your imagination, to do the rest.
Make your writing a fully immersive experience. Turn off your notifications, and plug yourself into whatever background vibe works for you. Close your eyes, and allow yourself to wander your own streets. Make small talk with elves or gangsters. Stand on your own mountaintop at midnight, sing to your own stars, chase your own purple waterfalls—whatever floats your boat. Your stories are your refuge from reality and of your own design.