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Well, it looks like this SOPA Internet censorship bill is history – at least for now.  So we can all breathe a sigh of relief, even those of us who have no idea what it was all about. For the time being, we can browse the Internet freely clicking from link to link and checking out web sites and blogs put together by your cousin or your neighbor.

I have to admit I hadn’t been following it too closely – although I registered my protest. So many issues, so little time. This one really just hit my radar in the past week. But, I do know that messing with the freedom of the Internet is just wrong. Our so-called American birthright to freedom has already been so eroded. Losing our right to add our two cents to the online conversation is the last straw for many.

Today, though, feeling particularly uninspired to write or do my other work, I’m clicking around the Internet only to find site after site blacked out in protest. So this issue really struck a chord for folks. Hmm, maybe I should have blacked out this site – then I would have had an excuse not to do my daily writing exercise!

This working from a home office thing has its drawbacks. I’ve never been a whip-cracking boss, so being my own boss (without any customers or employees bearing witness) is turning out to be quite the challenge. All I have to do is open my email inbox – and whoops! There goes one of my most productive hours. So many links to click through, articles to read because maybe they’ll inspire me, or maybe I should share them – and oh yeah! Sharing! Networking! Better hop on over to Twitter and see what all my new online friends are up to and whether they have some earthshaking news that I just have to know about.

But today on Protest Day some of those links are taking me to a blacked out page – or blacked out text. Too bad Twitter’s not blacked out! (Not really, I think that would inspire an even fiercer protest from some folks! True mutiny!)

The Internet’s still going and here I am in the home office on the computer, trying to write and/or get some work done. But the blackouts reminded me of a thought I had the other day: There’s another big problem with the work at home thing. I find myself in a vacuum – devoid of inspiration from the outside world. I get so caught up with my (way too long) To-Do list that I just can’t see the way clear to get outside, go into town, go see some friends. There’s simply not enough time to do that AND get all this work done.

But when obligations (or the occasional outside paying gig) draw me away from my little office world, that’s often when I find some new inspiration. Someone will share a story. I’ll witness a new offering from Mother Nature – sometimes a spectacular sunset, but it could be as simple as a red-breasted robin strutting across the yard on a January morning. And boom! My mind is whirling again with ideas.

So – yes we need a free and uncensored Internet. But we also need to back away from our computers from time to time.

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