Hi everyone! Welcome back to Too Many Books To Count! As we close out our series, I’m especially glad you stopped by. All month long, we’ve been discussing the myriad methods I use to get myself into the writing zone, and I think we’ve been having some fun along the way. We’ve discussed what to listen to and what not to listen to, how to make sure we don’t get distracted by our cell phones, and getting comfy to ensure no body parts fall asleep while we’re working.
So what’s left?
The one none of us like to talk about, and most of us just can’t bring ourselves to do.
#7: Turn off the internet
I don’t mean completely, of course. I don’t mean to completely cut internet and no longer have it. I mean that while you’re writing, you shouldn’t be on the internet. At least, not until you can discipline yourself well enough to not use it while you’re writing.
For most of us, we don’t need it. Not really. We try to tell ourselves that we do, that it’s incredibly important that we have the internet in case we need it to research something, to answer some burning question we must understand right now. Truth is, we don’t need it. We should’ve done our research ahead of time. That question can be answered later. And it’s better that we not let ourselves be distracted, than that we get everything right in the first draft.
I’ll admit, wholeheartedly, that this method is only for first drafts. After that, yeah, I understand. We do need the internet. We do need to be checking our work, making sure we did everything right. And the internet is supremely helpful in that regard. So I’m not saying that you should never use the internet while you’re writing, but that you should turn it off while you’re working on your first draft—because those drafts are hard enough, without the constant distractions of the interweb.
If you’re like me, and you write on a laptop, then it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy. Just push that little button that turns off your wireless connection, and you’re good to go. If you’re on a desktop, you’ll have to do a little more finagling. But you can do it. It can be done. And it won’t be detrimental to anything. In fact, you might find it to be something like a sigh of relief.
Not having the internet, after all, means that we don’t have the thing that makes a lot of us stress day in and day out. Without it, you might find you think clearer. In fact, I’m fairly certain you will.
And that’s why it’s good to do without it, at least while you’re working on that first draft.