Internet Blackout 2011, Part Dos
…a continuation of Wednesday’s post, plus a quick reflection.
Day 5. Only two pages of obsessing about writing, and my bad mood: But if I do feel like crap because of issues in my writing, does that make me a bad person? Can I just blame the stinkin’ wind & call it not-my-fault?
Day 6. I’ve decided my email limitation challenge thingie is sort of stupid. It’s extremely inconvenient when it comes to planning outings & events.
+ 10.5 pages of manuscript-obsession-drama.
To a critique partner & friend I wrote, “This is dumber than the No-Chocolate Challenge of 1999!” (Yes, my friend A & I both did this. It wasn’t really dumb, just kind of annoying once I realized I could get through the year without chocolate.)
Day 7. I have some hours to myself! Yay! I keep getting stuck, though [again, sigh, I am writing about writing TBC]. Right now is when my email & blog ban really helps – otherwise I’d be emailing & blogging right now.
Why are you doing this?! people wanted to know. I couldn’t really tell them. Before the challenge began, I hypothesized and dreamed that it would magically make me prettier, make me happier, and make me lose me ten pounds.
None of the above. Well, maybe I was a little prettier. My eyes weren’t as red from staring at a glowing screen for so many hours each day. And maybe I was even a little happier, as I was spending more time with friends and family, and got oodles of work done on my manuscript. But the weight loss? No way. Because with some of my newly-freed-up free time, I baked. We eat what we bake, in this house.
Overall, limiting email to an hour on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday freed up some time. Not writing blog posts freed up even more time. I got tons of work (and obsessing) done for TBC and felt really good about that. The other side of the story is that not checking email on certain days was kind of pointless, especially with my being so strict about it. I should have broken my email ban to confirm my meeting with the preschool director, for example.
Will I change anything as a result of this experiment? I’m thinking rather than give myself a LAW about when I can and can’t work online, I could try to limit my visits to a couple of times a day during the week. That way I can take care of basic planning with friends and colleagues, and on weekends I’ll still get that family time I so enjoyed. And in the future when I really need those extra hours for writing, I can always take a little vacation from my blog.
ETA: Just read a great blog post featured on Freshly Pressed about another writer reflecting on technology’s impact on her writing time management.