On Solitude and Silence: Dealing with loneliness as a creative

Isolation and connection as two forces of equal importance.

Christina Care

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An image I took of my desk in Finland.

Last year, in the peak of summer, I went offline and gave up my phone for a month. This was not entirely my idea. Rather, it was a key component of an Arteles Artistic Residency based in Finland. I sent out final missives before the blackout.

One reply read: ‘Cool, I’ll just Whatsapp you!’

‘No,’ I had to reiterate. ‘I will not have a phone. At all.’

The concept was totally alien. Many replied with suspicion: Why would you do that? Isn’t that a bit extreme? A bit unsafe? Are you joining some kind of cult?

It’s a fair enough reaction. In this day and age, our mobile phones are very much an extension of our anatomy. The last time I’d been without a phone, I was probably around 10 years old. And the last time I went without an internet connection for a whole month, I was more like 6 years old. I’m in my thirties now, and so I have lived the majority of my life with ‘connection.’

The idea of a month of solitude — and silence — from the noise of the modern world was unprecedented in my adult life. As you might predict, it taught me something invaluable.

But first: What is ‘solitude’…

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Christina Care

Emerging author, copywriter, editor and digital strategist helping creatives grow their practice. Xoogler.