Friday, September 14, 2012

Going Cold Turkey

I don't know if you heard the trumpets last week, but my youngest started kindergarten--which means that for the first time in 16 years I have the house to myself for over five hours straight. (No, I don't have a dozen kids... there's just a ten year age gap between my oldest and my youngest.)

I have been looking forward to some concerted writing time for a while. I'm heading towards the end of the first draft of my latest manuscript, and I really need to put in the hours so I can write those glorious words THE END before year's end. (That's my goal and I'm sticking to it.) But I knew I would be hard pressed to do that if I didn't take steps to quieten the social media hubbub to which I've become a part.

Two and a half years ago I didn't have a blog--let alone three. I wasn't on Facebook. I turned up my nose at Twitter. (And no, I'm not yet pining for Pinterest, or whatever is the latest social media du jour.) Don't get me wrong: I have enjoyed being a part of the interwebs and have met many dear people whom I now call friends (including all of you who are reading this.) But I was becoming addicted. I'd write a paragraph of my story, and then check my e-mail. Another sentence, and I'd shoot a glance at Twitter. As you can guess, being the debutante at the social media ball was beginning to eat away at my precious writing time.

So, I've gone COLD TURKEY. Yes, I've found a handy little app ("It's like your parents on steroids," it claims) that will block all sites for however long I want on any particular day. Usually, I'm at my desk at 9:30, and the kids come back between 2:30 and 3:30.  So I've set my Cold Turkey settings accordingly. Between those hours, I can't go on Yahoo! or update my Facebook status, or seeing what the tweeps are tweeting about. I can't even while away the time on my favorite blogs.

I'm getting a whole lot of writing done, and feeling like I have my willpower back. Have you tried Cold Turkey, or any other site like it? How did it go?


  1. Awesome Michael that you've done what you need to write more. No, I haven't used anything like that. I'm trying to commit to writing at least 10 minutes a day unless I have a super busy day and it's been working. And of course it turns into more than 10 minutes. It's so important to keep doing that important thing--writing. Good luck with yours and hope it's productive.

  2. I was having the same problem as you. Now I unplug my modem in the basement and I'm much more productive. I couldn't do that during the summer because my kids needed the internet to keep them busy so I could write. I didn't get much writing done because I kept checking my inbox and blogs. :(

  3. I think more and more writers are doing this. I haven't yet, but at some point I may need to. I do the same thing, write a little, waste a little time ... so far, I've been thinking that it's okay because I'm still getting everything done and I have a horrifyingly short attention span anyway. When that stops being the case, when I start to fall behind, then I may turn to Cold Turkey as well. Good luck with that draft, Michael!

  4. I have so little time to write, I'm not sure I need something like this. When I sit down to write, it's at least an hour spent doing nothing else.

  5. you're funny
    Addictions can be like that

    no, they are like that

    Glad you are in rehab...going cold turkey
    and can't wait to read your book

  6. Wow, a great idea! I will definitely try this!

  7. Brilliant! What a great idea! I could use that since, well, hey, I'm reading your blog while my manny languishes on MS Word. LOL

  8. Good for you! And congrats on your newfound writing time. Right behind you (one more year).

  9. I've been using Freedom. I love it. I need to turn it on RIGHT NOW and get some work done. =)


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