Sunday, January 24, 2010

Life Without Internet

My unplugged week was extremely productive. I didn't unplug completely (I had to at least check my email everyday), but I did send my ethernet cord to work with my husband, so I had no internet access during the daytime. It was GREAT.

I made a few discoveries that I'd like to share with you:


1. Checking email every half hour is no better that checking it twice a day. It will wait for you--really.

2. Without an ethernet cord my house became clean and my manuscript became longer. It was like magic.

3. I have no willpower. Just like I can't have a piece of chocolate cheesecake sitting in front of me for more than 30 seconds without devouring it, I cannot have a working internet and not check my email/your blogs/Yahoo News hourly.

4. A while back Lisa and Laura suggested trying a program that disables the internet for a set amount of time so I CAN'T get on it (and I can write). Last Friday I tried one. BRILLIANT. I highly recommend this kind of thing if you are like me and have no willpower.

5. When I unplug all the seasoned bloggers out there start writing about stuff I NEED to read. There were some truly awesome posts last week that I missed (until my husband came home with my cord). If you didn't see them you should check out:

Jody Hedlund's series on: Why We Should Blog
Kiersten White's post about Why Being on Submission Sucks
Elana Johnson's post about How She Does it All


It's going to be a really busy week for me (I leave for the SCBWI conference on Friday!) but I'll be back for sure on Wednesday.

Do you accomplish a lot more when you unplug? Have you ever unplugged? (If not--you need to try it!)

36 comments:

Mary Campbell said...

Congrats on your productive unplugged week. I unplugged too and my house got clean and I had my best word count ever 6000 words. I need to unplug more often.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I LOVED Elana's post! That woman is She-Ra. :)

I'm glad you had a good (and productive) week off. It's nice to have you back.

Marybeth Poppins said...

I LOVE how you sent your ethernet cord with your husband. That is hilarious! I'd have to send two laptops with mine as well.

I've been trying to stay away from the internet a bit more lately, but it's easier said than done.

I'm super proud of you!!!

Melissa said...

I've never unplugged. It's the willpower thing you mentioned. Maybe I should try your trick:)

I'm glad you had a productive week! And have fun at the conference!

Girl with One Eye said...

Yes, being unplugged let's me be guilt free to NOT blog, comment, facebook,etc. And I decided this time not to play catch up and read EVERY blog that i missed but I did skim them all for the really awesome posts.

Though I did not get as much accomplished on my WIP as I wanted (I'm struggling for some unknown reason) I did move forward.

Jemi Fraser said...

I've never unplugged, but you're making me think I should :)

I only get to write, blog, visit others, ... late in the evening and on weekends. Some of that time my brain is not functional anyway so I need to stay away from my wip :)

Paul Greci said...

I do accomplish more when I unplug. But when I am plugged in I am most productive when I minimize my email so I can see when I get a new message, that way I can just keep writing and not be wondering if some important email has arrived.

I'm sure you'll have a great time in NYC and at the conference and look forward to hearing about your experience.

V. S said...

I am definitely thinking about it. Glad to hear it did you good :)

Weronika Janczuk said...

Which program did you use, Natalie?

Kristi Faith said...

unplugged makes me nervous. LOL Though I'm sure I would get a lot more done. I'll have to brave it one day and see how well it goes. :0)

L.T. Elliot said...

I love to unplug now and then. It helps me find my center and remember what I want. It also gives my brain a much needed break and then I'm sane again. For a while, at least.

Welcome back!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I'm glad you had such a good week. I'm like you with the chocolate cheesecake. I've never unplugged, but I still managed to write more than 5K this week so I'm doing okay.
I hope the conference is fabulous--considering the company you're keeping and who's speaking, it should be great!

Stephanie Thornton said...

Yay! I'm glad the week was productive for you. This post has given me the push to take a week off soon- I'm going to do a full edit in 2 days before sending out my first round of queries. There's just no way I can do that with blogs to check.

Have a great week!

Thomas Taylor said...

Discovery No. 2 says it all:)

Tabitha Bird said...

I don't unplug unless there is something going on for me where I can't write. Maybe I should try it...

Have a good week :)

Aubrie said...

I need to check my email less, you are so right! Maybe I can allow myself only so many times per day...

Elana Johnson said...

I've unplugged. It's fabulous, although I've never really stayed away from the Interwebs. I'm so glad you got so much done without your ethernet cord!

Linda Kage said...

Love your comment about not needing to check email every half hour. THAT's exactly what I need to do. Sigh.

Erica said...

Yay for unplugged week. Oooo a program that keeps your internet off? Where can I find it? I need that - I have no will power - twitter is my drug, for sure!

I don't really have to unplug since I only post a couple times a week. Maybe if I get a different job or go part time I could get up to 3-5 times a week... Glad it was so productive for you!

Can't wait to hear about SCBWI!! Exciting :o)

Tamika: said...

Disabling the Internet is a great idea! I have zero will power, thanks Natalie.

I had a fabulous unplug week, writing was the clear and uninterrupted. I recommend it.

Georgina said...

I haven't unplugged, I just don't have the willpower. I love your observation about e-mail - Yes it can and will wait, all day of it has to! - G

Susan R. Mills said...

Yes, I definitely accomplish more when I unplug. I like the idea of disabling the internet for a while. That would make unplugging easier.

Catherine Denton said...

I "said" I was unplugging but I kept checking other posts and it took just as much of my time. lol Next month, I'm going to unplug for real.
Winged Writer

Jody Hedlund said...

So are you pulling the cord every day during writing time now? I'll have to ask you about it on Twitter. I'm curious about your new daily plan to keep the momentum going. Or are you just going to do it periodically? It's a great idea. Because like you, the email calls me. When I turn it off during writing time, invariably I get two emails from my in-house editor about important issues and then I feel I should have had it on so I could respond more promptly!! But, I'm sure he doesn't care if I don't get back to him within a minute! ;-)

Oh, and thanks for the shout out, and for sneaking in the reading of a couple of my posts last week!

Sarah Skilton said...

Well done, your week sounded amazing! I definitely get more finished when I unplug, and you're so right about the email thing -- it's much more productive to just to check once or twice a day. I wish I were better about that.

Voidwalker said...

I haven't developled the giatn size network that I need to unplug from yet. **Fingers Crossed**
Some day.

Good job on cleaning the house AND everything else, but mostly cleaning the house :P

Jamie D. said...

Congratulations...sounds like you had a very productive week! I can't unplug - my day job is web design, but I can certainly imagine how much extra time you'd have to get things done. :-)

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Mmmm, choc cheesecake. We should get some while we're in NY (the home of cheesecake).
I haven't heard of those internet shut down programs but I might need to look into it.
See you Friday!!!! :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

I DO accomplish so much more when I unplug!
And what do you mean e-mail waits? Are you sure? LOL!

Patti said...

I definitely accomplish more. I guess it's just like a diet, don't have the bad food in the house. Don't have the internet on.

Vonna said...

I do need to unplug more, but I've only been avidly reading blogs and chatting on facebook since this past spring. I feel like I've just found all of you!

Lisa and Laura said...

We have never offically unplugged, only disabled. I think we might need an internet cleanse. I know my house does.

Diane said...

No willpower here either. Thanks for the great tips!! :O)

www.dianeestrella.com

B.J. Anderson said...

Have fun at SCBWI!! And I agree with you on all those unplugging revelations. :D

laurel said...

Unplug week was wonderful--focusing on my work, guilt (and obsessive comment-checking) free. I got an extra 5 hours on Saturday of solid revision work, thanks to my daughter having a playdate. I used an old laptop on which the WiFi software needs to be upgraded. Though I missed Miriam-Webster.com, the progress I made was wonderful.
Have fun at SCBWI.

Diana Paz said...

I also had a great unplug week, and best of all, I appreciate my blog so much more when I come back to it. I didn't unplug from my Blackberry though, which meant I still Twittered/emailed... I wonder if I could survive disabling internet from it for a whole week? Maybe I should try next time *thoughts are munching happily on this notion*