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?!

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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.)

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Confession: I am not enjoying the world in 2018.

Obviously, I don’t mean to say that the entire planet has nothing to offer me. I’m not enjoying the news, the outrage, the furious exchanges on social media. I block certain words, phrases, unfollow people who seem perfectly nice and reasonable…until someone says that one phrase or criticises that one idea or…etc. As a chronically ill person I have a limited amount of spoons, and I have to decide how to distribute them. Realising how much energy reading those tirades cost me and how little I actually learned from them made me disengage. There are times when I will see X commenting on a post by Y in a way that makes me absolutely seethe with rage. I deal with this by blocking X, then hiding the post.

Unfortunately, it appears I can’t completely block worldwide politics, climate change, or countless acts of violence that media love reporting on. A brief look at the front page of HuffPo makes me gasp. A remark from a family member makes me want to cry in powerlessness. Twitter keeps me informed whether I want to be or not. I’m not going to give examples, because why would I? Look at the news yourself.

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