For the past few weeks my writing day has started not with actually writing, but with my usual rounds on the Internet: checking my Facebook page (no new messages), checking out my Twitter feed (no new followers), checking out my Goodreads page (no new adds to my book), and checking my Google account (no new messages). Eventually my brain would warm up enough, or so I thought, to home in on what I supposed to be doing for the day. When I was merely writing notes in longhand, it was easier for me to avoid the Internet; but once I started writing the draft on the computer, the Internet became only a click away.
This past Monday was Day 49 of Alan Watt’s 90-Day Novel book, in which Watt had these subtle words for writers who surf before getting to work: “The Internet will suck the life out of every writer. It will turn the most disciplined among us into bug-eyed addicts.” Of course I knew that before I read it this week, but since I was still averaging between 1,000 and 1,500 words a day even with the Internet, was the Internet all that bad?
I nevertheless took his advice this week. Instead of turning on the computer I’ve been doing a small, meditative exercise (more on that in another post) and then proceeded to write. The preliminary results are in. My worst day this week was still over 1,500 words. Today’s total, if you include this blog post, is around 2,300. For those of you counting, I just finished Day 52.
So if you’re out there wanting to finish that novel or short story, for God’s sake — stop reading this blog post! And turn off your computer, and do some writing in a plain old-fashioned notebook! But with all that said, thanks for tuning in.