Monday, April 11, 2011

"I" is for Internet

For my "I" post for the A-Z Blogging Challenge, I am paying homage to something I have a love/hate relationship with.

The internet.

There's a quote floating around (and an accurate one, at that) that says, "Writing is 3% talent and 97% not being distracted by the internet."  I would give credit for whoever said it, but I've seen it on Twitter from about fifteen different people, so too bad.

But it's true.  The internet is a funny thing.  It's a powerful writing tool.  I can do research, look up publishing houses and agent information, find pictures for inspiration for my characters, find a geographical location for a setting, and get the correct spelling of words I should already know.

I can also screw around on Facebook, window shop on Amazon, sell my crap on eBay, download music on iTunes, check what Kim Kardashian is up to on Perez Hilton, look up awesome pictures to use for my blog posts (c'mon, you guys have seen the hilarity), and tweet until my fingers fall off.


That leads to a very productive day.


Of course I do all those things...but, I've learned that sometimes I need to remove myself.  I will often pack my work up, laptop and all, and head to the nice library in the neighboring town.  Sure, they have free WiFi, but having to keep it to a dull roar minimizes my urge to watch silly videos on YouTube and actually get writing done.  Because, quite frankly, if I didn't have some measure of self-control, I'd never get anything completed.  And my goal is to be a professional writer, not a professional internet surfer; though, if there was money in that, I might give it a shot.

I know some of you are wondering why I don't use a typewriter or hand-write more things.  The answer is that I like instant gratification, and little patience for typewriters.  Also, if you've seen my handwriting, you'd probably insist that I not be allowed to use a pen ever again.  My husband tells me I need a translator, and recently I've taken to re-tracing notes I've made to figure out what some of the words are supposed to be.  It's faster for me to use a computer, trust me on that one.

What is your strategy to avoid the distraction of the internet?

xoxo Sarah


  1. I'm not even trying to be productive, so I'm gonna say NA to this one... :P :P :P
    Great post though, and you're right. We do need to just shut down the computer sometimes so that we can get some work done.. :) :)

  2. I just try to balance my time, which isn't always easy. Totally unplugging only happens when I go on vacation, and even then I sneak in some computer time if one is available. Good luck with this

  3. I use it to blog and make blogging friends.

    awesome I word.

  4. @PencilGirl: Haha, lucky! You get to be unproductive and unashamed of it. I'm jealous.:P

    @Karen: It's definitely not easy. I'm like you...I totally unplug on vacation and completely enjoy it, but I do like to get back to my technology.

    @Jingle: Blogs are definitely a good use for the internet. I'm glad you liked this post! :-)

  5. Just found you through Mickey's blog. Perfect word for I. Great job with the challenge so far-I'll be following.

  6. Thanks, Tim! I'm glad you found me and are enjoying my posts. I'm going to check your blog out right now!

  7. Great Post, Sarah! Yes, Love/hate is the best way to describe it.
    It's amazing how all of these "productivity" tools can make us so unproductive, isn't it?
    I recently bought a kitchen timer for another project, but now I actually leave it on my desk and set it for 30 minute (or however long I plan to waste) and when it goes off, I shut it down. The constant ticking reminds me of every second I waste. Unfortunately there's not much stopping me from just resetting the timer once it goes off.

  8. I haven't found the secret yet, but I'll let you in on it if I do. When my characters all start clamouring for me to get to work, or a deadline looms closer, is usually a good time to forget the 'net and buckle down to some work.

  9. I try to use the internet as a reward. If I write a certain number of words I reward myself with facebook or twitter.

  10. I watch a movie instead! Okay, that's probably not much better.

  11. @Mickey: Excellent idea! The problem is that I'd be resetting it every time, just like my snooze alarm in the mornings, lol.

    @J: Yep, when the voices in my head are very insistent, I can ignore the net like nobody'd business. It's when I have to think about the story or when the voices are quiet that I have trouble.

    @Carrie: I like the reward idea! Get work done first, then play.

    @Alex: That's what my husband does! He'll spend his time watching movies and not so much online.

  12. I have to just turn it off. Going to another location works pretty well, too. It's like, you're here now, so work on something.

  13. I've been getting better at not getting overly distracted but it still happens. Internet is a great invention, but like anything good it gets misused. I sometimes waste time just trying to confirm whether information I find online is true or not. There is plenty of information on the internet, but a lot of misinformation as well, not to mention outright lies.

    Very appropriate topic.

    Do they still make typewriters?

    Tossing It Out

  14. I'm still trying to figure this out!

    Great work on the A-Z Challenge, by the way!

  15. @Mary: Exactly. I'd rather remove myself from the temptation...turning it off still makes me want to turn it on again, lol.

    @Lee: Excellent points. I also waste time trying to confirm information...just because it's on the web doesn't make it true. And I'm not sure if they actually DO make typewriters anymore. Hmm...

    @MZ: Welcome over here! You have a new follower on your blog. :-)

  16. I'm with you on an inability to hand write. Not only do I have to re-type it on the computer, but I have to figure out what I wrote to begin with, which can take longer than the typing.

    My basic rule is that once the word processor is open, that's what I'm doing. Period. The only things allowed are word sites.

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