How do you deal with the ever-distracting Internet???

About Forums Den of Writers The Writers’ Lifeboat How do you deal with the ever-distracting Internet???

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
  • #9216

    I’ve read William Gibson quoted as saying, it’s the biggest time-waster ever devised by man! I hate to think of how much time I’ve wasted with it, from 1996 until now. Ah well.

    So far I’ve discovered the strategies of two authors.

    Margaret Atwood: She has two computers, one connected to that ever-ensnaring Web, the other not connected. We already know which one she uses for writing.

    Dean Koontz: Took the Go Big or Go Home approach. When he bought a new machine, he had Windows removed from it altogether! I’ve also read he works for hours and hours every day, getting each page just right before he allows himself to move on to the next.

    Now on to this morning’s project, critiquing two stories on Critters. This reminds me the Net’s not always a bad thing. 🙂


    I haven’t removed the internet connection from my laptop because it’s too useful when I want to check something, but keeping the laptop for writing and using a PC for everything else – emails, online purchases etc – makes distraction less of a problem. When I’m using the laptop I’m in writing mode. It’s a little thing but it helps.


    Weirdly enough it helps my way of working which is to do intensive bursts of writing and then let myself be distracted for a brief while before I attack again!


    When I need to be productive, I set myself time slots for internetage. i.e. 15mins when I first sit at the laptop, during a lunch half hour, and then that’s it apart from evening phone-evil-blackhole-of-distraction. Tbh, I like being able to quickly check something as I’m writing – find a photo of a place, or look at a map or whatever, so I wouldn’t like to work on a totally independent system.


    Thanks. I’ve found what helps for me, when it’s really getting *bad*, is to set a timer. For the next 15 minutes I look at nothing but the story! Writing or revising. Then I can goof off a bit if I want. Not too long. Then I set the timer again.

    Doing this, I’m finding it helps get me into the mode where I’m safety into the story.


    Maybe I should also mention, that the timer I use is an online timer like a bomb with a fuse. You set the time, and the fuse slowly burns down while the clock ticks. When it runs out there’s a big “KABOOM!” I’ve been tempted to set the time, turn my speakers up on high, then try to write so many words before the thing goes off.

    Maybe someone could write a yarn about a genius, someone dazzlingly smart but also lazy, who’s presented with such a timer. It sets itself, he can’t get away from it, and it gives him so much time to accomplish a certain task. Like, “Write a page in your journal in 15 minutes.” The only way to stop it is to get the task done. The tasks could then escalate.

    “Sell three smoothies in the next 15 minutes.”
    “Feed two homeless people in the next 20 minutes.”
    Now solve world hunger in the next 20 minutes. Then the whole problem of good and evil. Then figure out a way to clean the world of pollution. He’d better get cracking, he’ll get blown sky-high!

    Maybe a flash yarn? Or an Asimov-style story, where two characters in the future golden age the guy brought about, see a statue of him and talk about his history.

    Wondering what everyone thinks of this…

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.