YouTube videos and movies no longer stick, break up, or freeze. I can access the Internet in any room of the house—or even when away on trips. I can check frequently on Facebook to see new videos and photos of my beautiful grandkids. And I could decide to answer “just one more email question” before going to bed.
Therein lies the problem.
Addicted? Who, Me?
I never had a tremendous amount of sympathy for writers who couldn’t seem to stay off the Internet long enough to get their reading, writing, and studying done. How hard could it be really? Well, this past month I found that it’s a lot harder to leave alone than I thought! Having dinosaur dial-up and then a pokey DSL line had been my biggest productivity friend, I think.
While I love the new computer—and it would have been so welcome when writing a couple of nonfiction books that required much research—its high-tech capabilities are causing trouble.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have so much willpower to spare that I want to spend it fighting the Internet. And yet computers—with Internet access—are here to stay. So I did what my youngest daughter grilled into my head. Her answer to everything is “Google it!” So I did.
And I found a fabulous “block the Internet” download called Freedom. For a mere ten dollars (and there’s a free trial if you’d like to try it first), you get instant willpower. It buys you freedom to focus by blocking your Internet access! You can set the “block” for any amount of time, from fifteen minutes to 24 hours. You can set schedules for different days of the week if you like, and then you write.
I love the app. I would pay more for it, if necessary. (And I don’t part with my money easily!) I noticed this morning as I set the timer (on both my computers) for three hours of blocking, there was a wonderful sense of peace. There wasn’t the withdrawal I expected. Instead—and this will sound so anti-social—there was such a feeling of “no one can get to me for three hours—it’s my time to just write!”
And so I did.
Nothing makes us feel like writers more than writing. And nothing makes me feel like a successful writer more than having a very productive writing day. Freedom gives me that!
How about you? Do you need some writing freedom too? And do you have a favorite time-saving or willpower-producing tip?