Top 8 Reasons to STEP AWAY from the Computer

Back in April, a pack of wild teenagers stole my laptop computer right from the desk in my home.

You can read about that fateful day from my post, “Burglars Beware! Why to NEVER Rob a Writer’s Home.” However, as angry (and scared) as I was when it happened, I learned something that day:

Taking time away from the world of technology was refreshing—and amazing for my writing. I urge everyone to lose their computer for a week (I was out nearly a month) and see what I mean.

Here are my top eight reasons why you should STEP AWAY from the computer for once:

1. You see the world again. I mean, you really SEE it.





2. You sleep better, and deeper, and calmer.






3. You’re not as stressed from constantly being “plugged in.”





4. You have more time to exercise and cook healthy meals.








5. You concentrate on YOU, not what everyone else is doing.






6. Your mind can relax and regenerate, which = more creativity.






7. You read a book—the old-fashioned way.







8. And finally, your writing improves. Not just a little, but A LOT.








Sometimes, as ambitious writers, we forget that the most important aspect of writing, is living. And although the computer is a significant piece of building our names, we cannot let it consume our lives.

I CHALLENGE YOU: Leave your computer at a trusted friend’s for a week, and take away the temptation. Then tell us the outcome … Are you up for it?

**All photos displayed are the copywritten property of Shari Lopatin (except the books photo, which was borrowed from Google Images), and cannot be copied, reproduced, or printed without written consent from Shari Lopatin.**


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17 responses to “Top 8 Reasons to STEP AWAY from the Computer”

  1. This is such great advice! I’m not sure I’m up for a whole week just yet, but I *did* just institute a no-internet time zone from 2pm to 8pm everyday (I even did a blog post about it). So far it’s been fantastic. I’ve even noticed that I’ve felt less of a pull to run to the computer and compulsive check to see if there’s a new update or email or whatever. Definitely more tranquility, book reading, and general productivity. Yay!

    I’ll think about this whole leaving the computer at a friend’s for a week thing. I like the way it sounds, but I’m a little nervous about it. I suppose that means I’m a little too attached to the computer, huh?

  2. This is a great idea (and something I desperately need to do). My mind gets too worried about “missing out” on something that might be happening on the computer (even when nothing usually is). A week away from the call of the electronic would do any writer good. Thanks for sharing your experience – it definitely makes it seem more doable and much less scary.

    1. Thanks AG! It’s amazing, I learned, how freeing a little time away from the world of technology can be. I actually designate my weekends for minimal computer time, now. Usually no more than an hour between BOTH Saturday and Sunday. I love it! 🙂


  3. We just returned from a short trip to Colorado, and while hubs and I were at the airport, I realized we were both stuck in our own little techno world, twittling away on our iPhones before boarding. We made the conscious decision to turn them off. Wow – it made me think (and was related to a guest post I did with Leah Singer a few weeks ago) about just how much technology has impacted communication in a BAD way. This was a refreshing post! While I don’t take my laptop with me, I do take my SmartPhone, but I’m thinking next time I refrain from any email checking. Just voicemail! And, indeed, LIFE is our greatest teacher.

  4. “Sometimes, as ambitious writers, we forget that the most important aspect of writing, is living.”
    Fabulous Line. Yes, We do forget, don’t we? 🙂

  5. These are wonderful tips and so, so true! When I was traveling in Europe and did not have any way to be “connected” to the world, I was much more connected with everybody and everything around me. For the first day or two it felt weird, but then it was wonderful and kind of liberating :)!

    1. Thanks Ariana! Isn’t it funny, that when we’re suddenly forced away from the computer (like your time in Europe, and my home’s burglary), we feel liberated? The computer is so necessary, yet at the same time, it can quickly turn into a prison. We have to be so careful NOT to forget to live.

  6. Love your 8 reasons and photos, Shari. I think my favorite line here is “Sometimes, as ambitious writers, we forget that the most important aspect of writing, is living.” So true. Not sure I could manage without the computer when I’m at home/work (a creature of habit, I’m afraid), but I always leave it behind when on vacation – and I rarely miss it.

    1. Thanks Jessica! I, too, ALWAYS leave my computer behind when on vacation. Or, if I bring it with me, I stay in areas where there’s not easy access to WiFi. Therefore, I can usually only check my email/social media/blog briefly, once or twice.

  7. Shari,

    I think there’s two ways to look at this: for me, and this is in part thanks to you, getting plugged into social media helped me get out of my head, which I had been in for far too long. I was spinning. On the other side, where I am now after only three weeks of having been plugged-in, I feel like I need to pull away from media: I’ve somehow learned to depend too much on it; I need people’s feedback (whereas before I hadn’t even realized its absence); I am curious to see if people are responding to what I’m saying.

    The take-away, as with most elements of life, is moderation: don’t depend on social media for your daily stability, but don’t forget its benefits. Community can be just as inspiring for writers as the solitary adventure.


    1. Renee,

      Thanks for adding such great insight! I agree with you. The key is moderation. I tend to be on the computer/social media more during the week. However, I’ve come to reserve my weekends for “life.” This is the first time I’ve even checked my blog this entire weekend, and it’s nealy 10 p.m. on Sunday!


  8. I don’t know if I can do it! Does computer at work count? Or just home? I do agree that it becomes overwhelming fast though.

    1. I probably should have clarified that. 🙂 No, computer at work does NOT count. I’m referring to your computer at home. I believe you can do it, Leah!

  9. Yep I’m up for it! Bring on life. Oh hang on, got twenty five emails… I’ll just check those and then there’s that insanely funny YouTube blather I have to watch… and just gonna download… *sigh*

    1. Haha! Isn’t it amazing when we realize how dependent we’ve become on computers? Of course, I need to be on my computer at the office, for work, so that doesn’t count. But everything recreational … good-bye for a week! YOU CAN DO IT!

  10. Wow, a week!? I may have to work up to it! Your photos and your eight reasons are spot on, though, and boy do I need it. So I’m going to give this some serious thought…. and what a statement that I just can’t say yes. (but wait, I can keep my iPhone, right? 🙂 GREAT post!

    1. Thanks Julia! Yes, a week. 🙂 C’mon, if I was forced to do it for a month, you can do it for a week. I have faith in you! I do believe you’ll find it very freeing. I’m now contemplating leaving my computer at a trusted friend’s for a week once every couple of months.

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