My Number One Distraction from Writing is the Internet

The internet. Filled with webcomics, social media and news, its plethora of mini-games and interactive tools can sometimes distract me from getting a large word count out the door.

I find that as part of “creating my workspace” to get a lot of writing done, I can’t shut it off completely because I really like the notification feature when I get an “important” email. Instead I go invisible when wi-fi is available and I close my browser.

I know that the internet is my number one distraction because getting an email is like feeling a little ray of sunshine, like you used to feel when you had a pen pal when you were a kid. Although I have to admit that pen pals are much cooler, because you get “stuff.” There’s nothing like getting a physical, non-spammy letter or care package in the mail. Kind of like that scene in Harry Potter when the mail shows up. [Insert diatribe about how the world of Harry Potter might have been changed by the internet.]

Anyway, so part of this idea of finding space to write has evolved into setting aside blocks or chunks of non-internet usage and figuring out exactly what I use the internet for in my non-work hours to boost productivity. On the surface, it sounds a bit lame to be “scheduling” social time on the internet but it’s like that analogy of “get your homework done so you can get out and play.”

My personal belief is that it’s important for me to stay on top of social media for the day job and beyond. Some of social media for me is experimenting and playing around with the tools to see what might work for what I need it to do. It also allows me stay on top of how the internet is evolving because you never know where a new rival to Facebook might pop up. Either way, I can’t ignore my social media channels or do away with them completely, but limiting them is probably a good idea.

So to get more writing done in November for Nanowrimo, I know I’ll also need to go through my 1,398 emails and my 74 unread emails in the one account — should probably check my other accounts, too. Good thing this heated election will be over early November, because that will be one less thing I’ll be following that closely.

The more I think about ways to get off the internet, the more I realize (Delete.) how dependent I’ve become on internet communication. (Delete.)

Make that 72 unread emails and counting.

3 Responses to My Number One Distraction from Writing is the Internet
  1. Kate

    I know how you feel. I should be working right now.

  2. Katy

    I too should be working but here I am looking at random blogs. I sometimes think I have ADD. The internet is a great source for procrastination.

  3. Joe Wallace

    If it weren’t for the Internet, I’d get EVERYTHING done every day without fail. Oh, I also blame the Jon Stewart show, but if I’m still working by then it’s been a rough day. Who am I kidding? Of COURSE I’m still working then….heh.

    The worst timewaster on the net is YouTube, but fortunately I don’t have THAT particular addiction. Wired.com does me in though…



Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

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