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At a small convention earlier this year, one of the writing panelists mentioned that he tries to take a day each week in which he doesn’t look at a screen. Living in a technological age and culture, I thought this sounded impractical but impressive. I’m not sure I could volintarily avoid the screen for a day each week, but here are some ideas for escaping the screen for at least a few hours at a time:

  • Tabletop gaming—If you’re a writer, you may already be a geek. Great! Bring your geekiness full circle by playing a tabletop game. Although you can incorporate technology into this kind of gaming, sometimes it’s nice to use it to get away from the screen and maybe even meet new people.
  • Bodily exercise—Stepping away from a screen is just one of the benefits of taking a walk outside, riding a bike on a park trail, or practicing a sport or marial art.
  • Museum visits—I’ve enjoyed museums since I was little. They give you the opportunity to see things that you don’t normally get to see. Who knows, you might even pick up some character or story ideas along the way.
  • Arts and Crafts—You can draw and paint digitally, but what about crocheting or woodworking? And even if you like digital art, it doesn’t hurt to practice with paper and pencil, too. In a graphic design class I took, my teacher required his students to sketch out our designs on paper before attempting to create them digitally.
  • Reading—I’m glad to have an e-reader for when I travel, but at home I like physical copies of books. I borrow them for free from my local library, and I enjoy searching for inexpensive copies at used bookshops.
  • Having a real conversation—I’m thankful to have technology to connect with friends who live far away, such as those who are missionaries in other countries, but it’s also a blessing to meet at a coffee shop or restaurant with a friend in the area and just chat over some good food.

What about you? What are some ways that you escape from the screen? Please feel free to share them in the comments! Thank you!