How Technology is Killing Your Creative Mojo

I’ll be blunt: I love my iPhone. I have no idea what I would do without it – I use it to check Facebook, respond to co-writers and clients, jot down notes in my hook book…you name it. It’s always on, always with me.  I’m even on it during a write – not playing games on it – but looking up rhymes, or checking my hook book, or looking up types of cars that might be one syllable. You know, typical writer’s stuff. But this week, a co-writer recommended we put aside our phones and just write. I did just that – turned the Do Not Disturb setting on, and forgot about it on the couch next to me. When I did that, my brain came back to life – I actually had to think about rhymes instead of automatically look them up. Lines got finished organically, instead of throwing out options from a list online. I was engaged in the process on a different level – I hadn’t even realized I was disengaged until that moment. The song certainly took more time to finish, but it was better. More honest.

Something else that struck me this week is that easy access to the internet has taken away our ability to wonder. For us creative types, that’s critical – maybe you’re pondering about how TV was invented and your brain runs through a million possibilities, from the mundane to the wild. Maybe a song idea comes out of it, maybe not. Maybe you’ve just let your creative nature out to play a bit. That’s good too. If you Google it before too much pondering, the wonder is killed – the information is in front of you, in black and white. I feel that’s similar to what can happen in a writing session, just on a larger scale.

I’m hardly a Luddite – and I’ll likely continue using my phone, because it’s a great tool. But I remember something my old mentor used to say: “Any tool can be useful, until it becomes a crutch.”
Is technology a help or a hindrance to your writing? Chime in below!