Digital Distractions

Because of my recent move, I’ve been without internet for three weeks. It was strange and extremely frustrating but I have to be honest, that first week in my new apartment with absolutely no digital distractions was actually really good for my writing. The quiet, the solitude–it was the perfect recipe for a successful re-start to this self-imposed sabbatical. But then the technician came and not only did he turn on the internet, but because my boyfriend can’t live without football, he also turned on the cable. Which was not good.

Getting rid of cable was the best decision I ever made. I swear one month after pulling the plug I felt like this fog had been lifted. I hadn’t realized just how much reality television I actually watched until my productivity went through the roof and my brain no longer felt like I was feeding it battery acid and crisco. It was both a physical and mental relief not consuming that junk anymore. But now it’s back.

And I’m trying…I really am. But I have to admit, knowing it’s there with just one click of the remote is not helping. Especially when I can sense myself taking every opportunity to try and avoid the next round of edits for book 4. I washed dishes twice today for pete’s sake! Not a good sign. But one thing I’m great at, even when my self-discipline wanes, is seeing the big picture.

I’m a planner and a dreamer and I always have been. So even if there are a million other things going on–distractions and temptations and escape routes from this commitment I’ve made to spend the next two months writing–I can see the future. The future I’ll have if I keep writing and the future I’ll have if I don’t. And when I see the truth, it’s not a choice. I know what I have to do. So sorry HGTV, I’ve got another book to finish.

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6 thoughts on “Digital Distractions

  1. Proseia says:

    For a while I lived out in the middle of nowhere in a little 215 square foot house. No tv, no internet unless I went to the library–just a computer, a bed, a makeshift kitchen, and my cat. It was…so very awesome. I got more writing done than I ever had before and loved every minute of it. It’s much harder to unplug now that I’m back among the civilized, but I’m gradually figuring it out. I’ll be rooting for you! ^-^

    • That sounds like such an awesome adventure! I would love to go on a real writing sabbatical and just hide out in a cabin in the mountains somewhere. I never thought I lacked discipline–choosing to get rid of cable even though I loved it is proof of that–but it’s hard living with the temptation on a daily basis. Hopefully I’ll get used to it again. Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. Jennifer K says:

    Digital distractions are some of the hardest distractions to avoid – they’re everywhere! Good luck with your edits!

    • They are everywhere and such an integral part of our lives! I could get rid of cable and find some trick for keeping me off the internet when I’m suppose to be writing but totally eliminating digital distractions is impossible. I’d still have my cell phone and my nook and my iPad–so many things that I don’t even realize that I rely on on a daily basis. It’s the curse of living in the 21st century but convenience should never be my excuse for choosing to switch on the TV instead of writing.

  3. Aubrey Cann says:

    Ahhh, HGTV kills me. I could watch House Hunters for HOURS (and have). The trick for me is just not to let myself turn on the TV during the day. Once I start, I can’t stop.

    • Yes!! That and the food channel–like I said I love reality television. And I’m the same way. First thing in the morning I reach for my laptop instead of the remote, which is key for me when it comes to staying focused. But when you live with another person in a small apartment, it’s sometimes impossible to find someplace to hide when the other person feels like watching TV. I can’t wait for the day when I can have my own office complete with a big sound-proof door.

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