The Power of the Off Button

Yesterday was Labor Day and since my hubby had to work (Emergency Dispatch never gets a holiday), I decided I’d make a writing marathon of it.  So I went internet dark.  Totally turned off my wireless connection and spent the day from about 10 to 4 writing (I also spray painted my wrought iron bistro set and got the first coat of paint on my bathroom cabinet doors).  No Twitter.  No instant messenger.  No email.  Just a couple of pops on to verify a fact or two on Google, then off again.

The end result?  3091 words.  3 fully roughed out scenes.  They need revisions of course, but it was like having a full extra week of work.  I’m on the verge of breaking 80%.  Almost over 60k for this first draft.

It really made me realize how much time I spend reflexively glancing at all my assorted notifiers.  I have a compulsion and it clearly impacts my productivity.  Of course having my house empty all day yesterday had a lot to do with it too.  The only demand I had was an in or out by the dogs.  Either way it’s an addiction a lot of writers share (I would know…I see them all on my follow list on Twitter the same time I’m there).  I know Lili Saintcrow has made a huge change in her internet habits over the summer.  I say more power to her.  I don’t think I can go quite that extreme as to cut down to one hour a day (I have to spend more time than that dealing with my online classes), but I’m going to try to make some changes.

I’m going to make an effort to have some kind of internet free writing time every day.  I can’t actually turn off the internet at work.  It’s a hard line T1 connection and on top of that, I have to be able to get email and such for my actual, you know, job.  But I think I may set a rule that once I finish eating my lunch everyday, I turn off the internet for the remainder of lunch and see what I can get done.  Same for band practice night.  Since I’m so near the end, I feel the urge to make a big push this month.  I really feel like I have a good shot at finishing this rough draft by the end of the month.

4 thoughts on “The Power of the Off Button

    1. I don’t dare write by hand if I can avoid it. My handwriting is so flipping awful that I might not ever figure out what I wrote!

        1. My handwriting was pretty poor to begin with. Grad school absolutely ruined it. Plus I can type a whole lot faster than I can write by hand.

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