Wednesday, April 08, 2009

All A Writer Needs Is A Little Freedom

All over everywhere, folks are squeeing about Freedom. Apparently, this is a computer program you download from the internet that gives you freedom from...

(wait for it)

...the internet.

Freedom from checking your email every few minutes. Freedom from checking the comment trails on your favorite blogs. Freedom from Twitter, Facebook, your book's ranking...

not that I ever look at my books...umm...hardly ever, I mean...*cough* short: Freedom to do some actual work. The way Freedom works is, you set it for a specified time and during that time, the program prevents you from accessing the internet for any reason--even to check March Madness results (Cher bracket) on Go Fug Yourself. You can't argue with can't reason with it. It knows no mercy.

If that's not a writer's godsend, I don't know what is. It's just too easy, when hitting a bump in the fifth circle of hell known as the First Draft, to say I must know, at this very instant, how to say "hurry up" in French! Before I even know it, Google is activated and I'm knee-deep in French-to-English translation sites. And then I remember that I wanted to know what sort of fabric is crepe, exactly, and by the way, wasn't The Road with Viggo Mortensen supposed to come out last November? Where hast ye been, Viggo? And then...

No! No more! Where do I get this Freedom? I cried, cursor poised, ready to click through to my deliverance. And then I saw the fine print. (Why, why is there always fine print?)

Freedom is for Macs only.

*foam quietly at mouth for a moment*

Fine. Maybe it's just that Mac users don't have the self-discipline that we PC-ers do. So yesterday, I devised a little Freedom of my own: I disconnected my laptop from the internet. (I was surprised at how long I hesitated before clicking "disconnect." As if the mouse was a cleaver held over my sole supply of oxygen.) Every hour and a half, I allowed myself ten minutes surf time. (Okay, fifteen. And once was thirty minutes, but that was lunch.) Overall, I was pretty pleased with myself. And today?

Mm. Well. But look: the 2009 Go Fug Yourself March Madness champion, with video!

And cute cats!

And...and...Aarghh! I can't make it stop! Fred Stutzman, savior of Mac users, hear us! Are we not also helpless in the face of a strong wireless signal? Do we not also have work to be done? Where's our PC Freedom?!


sally nemeth said...

Oh lord - I voted early and often in the Go Fug Yourself March Madness. Love that website....and others. Seriously fun wastes of time....and so is my garden, my dog, my cat, my chickens, so if there were no internet, I'd still find ways to fritter away my time.

Melissa Marsh said...

This is exactly why I do all my writing on my laptop - no internet connection available!

Lisa Schroeder said...

I may have to go for some freedom myself. Although I really do use google ALL the time when I'm writing and then I do get right back to the book. Well, most of the time. :)

Laini Taylor said...

Oh, Chris, I'm so sorry you don't have access to Freedom! As a Mac user, for years there were applications I couldn't get! Now, finally, some folks are designing stuff just for us. Yay!

Seriously, I love Freedom. It is awesome. Today I set it for 120 minutes -- TWICE -- and I WROTE! I finished a chapter and wrote another 1000 words. Not HUGE output, but I was happy with it. If I could do that every day . . . well. We'll see!


Lisa Nowak said...

Yeah, the temptation is strong to check your email, or see what your friends are doing on Facebook, or look at the weather report (surely it must have improved in the past five minutes). But if I used Freedom instead of telling myself "no" I'd just find another way to waste time, as Sally pointed out. There are always kitties to be snuggled and desks to be organized. The Internet didn't create procrastination, it just made it more convenient.

That cat video was a riot.