I am currently on a retreat, spending a week at a wooden cabin in Germany. The place is owned by friends of mine who are generous enough to allow me to stay here when I truly can’t take the big city life anymore. As mentioned in the previous post about a nature boy with terms and conditions applied, I am not quite as good at this living in the wild thing as I would like to be, which makes this cabin perfect. The only Internet I have is through my mobile’s rapidly shrinking data plan. There are no bars, no restaurants, no loud music or yelling people. When I want to get warm, I have to light a fire in the wood burner. When I want to eat, I have to go to a superm–
Oh. Yes. I said terms and conditions apply, right?
The king of the jungle that I am, I felt awfully worried before leaving Amsterdam. All the electronic devices I use require different chargers. I pack each of them, muttering to myself, crossing items off the list I made. Once all is packed I still have extra 30 minutes to kill, so I sit on the sofa with my laptop still connected to the charger so that I would have as much juice as possible for the duration of the trip. You can probably guess where this is heading…
I used to be a big town boy when it came to holidays. London, Berlin, Amsterdam were my favourite destinations. In the last years, however, things dramatically changed. My idea of a great holiday is being in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees and animals, spending evenings sitting by a bonfire ideally somewhere near the water.
Except… terms and conditions apply…
Nature Boy taking photos with his smartphone.
This is Arnarstapi, one of the most incredible places I’d ever been to. I loved it. Everything about it. The screams of birds, the basalt columns, the fury of the waves, the smell of the air, even the drizzle. The feeling of being alone with nature, being a small part of it and nothing more than that. Not checking my messages, emails, not getting phone calls (not that I do phonecalls). Unfortunately, there was a catch. When we decided we were cold and wet enough, we went to a lovely cafe and had the most delicious apple pie with caramel. Then we drove back home, warm thanks to the airco. Once we arrived, we took off our coats and leathers as the modern geothermic heating system allowed us to be as warm as we wanted to be. Of course, I had to share pictures and stories with everyone on social media. What good is being in nature if everyone doesn’t know?!
Sara Crawford at The Creative Penn, “5 Reasons This Is The Best Time To Be A Creator”:
Before the internet, it was much more difficult to share your art—even if you were just trying to get feedback. You would have to go through the long process of traditional publishing if you were a writer. […] The internet has opened up the world for us creatives, and we should be grateful for that every single day.
With subscription services like Kindle Unlimited and Netflix, there is literally an unlimited number of books, movies, and TV shows we can have access to for a minimal monthly fee. There is an unlimited number of free songs, books, videos, photographs, and podcasts we all have access to. There are so many free books on Amazon at any given time, there’s even a Top 100 free books listed for each genre. […]
So the next time you start to feel overwhelmed by the vast amount of art out there, keep in mind that it’s also a blessing. If you are a creative person, there has never been a better time to create art and share it with the world. And that’s really something to be grateful for.
I feel the second paragraph I quoted above explains everything: this is the best time to be a creator with a day job. (I’m going to skip the topic of piracy, as I wrote about it before.)