World-Building Is Not Just for Fantasy Novels

Charlotte Bismuth
3 min readFeb 7, 2022

Goodbye, Twitter & Instagram!

In writing, world-building refers to the invention of an imaginary setting for a story. It requires skill and thorough preparation to conceive the geography topology, languages, beings, architecture and other elements of life that will populate and bring to life the writer’s fantasy. There’s a similar exercise we can undertake in our day-to-day lives. I’ve realized it’s necessary for my well-being and work.

I haven’t posted in a long time because (1) I wasn’t feeling well (2) I had nothing to say. Over the past month, I’ve implemented a process of elimination and selection to create a world in which I am able to focus, work, care for myself and care for my family.

Twitter and Instagram had to go. I enjoyed most of the news and photographs from the people I followed and felt a responsibility to maintain a presence, but the feelings of unease and suffocation surpassed everything. When I find myself thinking about posting these days, I have to just let it go. I realize it may not be the best strategy to advocate for the issues I care about, let alone sell books or “stay relevant,” but for now it’s necessary. There’s no point to having virtual relevance if you feel immaterial in the real world.

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Charlotte Bismuth

Author of “Bad Medicine: Catching New York’s Deadliest Pill Pusher,” former Manhattan ADA , Columbia Law School grad, occasional legal cartoonist.