Why you should write in airplane mode

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This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a blog post about why we should write in airplane mode — even if we’re not flying….

It’s been more than a year since I’ve been on a plane. And while I’m happy for the environment — less travel will mean fewer carbon emissions — I  miss being able to visit different cities and countries.

And to be honest, I really miss flying. I’ve never had to travel much for work (my commute takes 15 seconds up a flight of stairs) so I usually associate flying with the pleasure of holidays. And who doesn’t love holidays?

And while I abhor airline food, I love to write in airplane mode. Why? No one can reach me by phone or by email. (I always eschew the airline wifi.) I find something deeply satisfying about snapping myself into a seat, pulling out my laptop and starting to write without interruption.

Writer Austin Kleon explored this topic recently in a post headlined, “Airplane mode to stay grounded.” Here is part of what he wrote:

You don’t need to be on a plane to practice airplane mode: Pop in some cheap earplugs and switch your phone or tablet to airplane mode, and you can transform any mundane commute or stretch of captive time into an opportunity to reconnect with yourself and your work. Less doomscrolling! More airplane mode!

While I don’t follow his suggestion of putting on headphones, I do have a loud timer tick-tocking while I write. I find the sound comforting and focusing — it’s an audible and steady reminder that my job is to write. Not to look out the window. Not to surf the internet. Not to chat with friends.

Time is ticking and I am writing. As if I were on a plane.

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