Monday, October 12, 2009

Timely Tales

Where does the time go? Here it is the end of the day, and I haven't written anything but blog and journal entries. Well, a few weeks ago, I got a revelation. Oh, not the angels singing, heavenly music kind. Just your run-of-the-mill-I-should-have-known-that kind.

It all started when my computer slowed down, making DSL more like dial-up. In walks tech guy with all his black bags, filled with mysterious tools. (What do they keep in those bags?) Within ten minutes, he diagnosed the problem. "Not enough RAM to run this thing."

Finally, it's fixed. Or so I thought. I go to turn on the computer that evening, and I get a black screen with lots of jumbled letters. "No, no, I wailed." The next morning, I call tech guy. "Bring 'er in. The memory is probably defective." I cart my baby off to the computer ER and return home. It's not a pretty sight for others to see a grown woman sitting in front of a dark monitor.

Now, all is not lost. I have a second computer that isn't hooked up to the Internet. Novel idea (pun fully intended)! Maybe I could work on my book. Suddenly, all those disappearing hours magically stretched before me. With no Internet, email, or Facebook to provide distraction, I found time to write.

Don't get me wrong. The computer and cyberspace are essential tools in the writer's duffel bag, but I needed to limit my exposure. Now that computer baby is back home and running like a star athlete, I'm wary about the time I spend surfing the Net. So far, my plan is working. I've been setting aside several hours a day to work on my book.

How do you manage your online time? Do you find an unplug week beneficial?

25 comments:

Jessica said...

I don't want to do unplug week but I'm pretty aware that I'm not writing like I should. In fact, I've been procrastinating. *groan*

Even when I had no internet while babysitting I still brought a book and read. It's my fault. Sigh. The internet can be a timesuck though, so I try to be aware of what I'm doing. Glad you got some writing done!

Karen Lange said...

Hi Susan,
I have to stay on guard to make sure that poking around on the internet doesn't take up too much of my time. It is way too easy to do, checking emails, hopping over to facebook, etc., and before you know it, the afternoon is gone. Discipline has been my new watch word:) Glad all your computers are working and that you are making great progress with your writing. Blessings!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

The thought of unplug week makes me shudder. I'd be so far behind, it would take me forever to catch up. I think moderation is the key.

I'm happy to report that Book 2 (still untitled) has 13,000+ words. I wrote almost 10,000 words last week. Whether I can maintain that pace or not, I'm determined to write every day except Sunday.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

I think the computer has simply replaced the television in my house when it comes to wasting time. It's a form of escape and procrastination.

When I stand before the Lord and He asks me how I used my time, I don't want to say I spent 50% of it surfing the Net.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Cindy said...

Hey Susan! I love your rendition of the computer repair guy. It made me smile. I definitely find an unplug week helpful. I cheat a little and check e-mails and some blogs but I don't write anything and plenty of the time I just check to see what's going on but I don't comment. It saves me a ton of time and I find I'm very productive.

Also, during Unplug week, I make a point to get more done around the house and spend special time with my family. The extra time is a blessing in so many ways and I want to include all my priorities, not just writing. Have a great day!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Cindy -

Maybe I could put my "rendition" to music. It might be a hit. :)

Ah, a partial unplug week. I could handle that.

2,014 words today! YAY!

Blessings,
Susan

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Susan, I envy your revelation and discipline!! I so need to get a better handle on the blogging/networking thing, and get more writing novel time in.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Eileen -

I struggle like everyone else. The new habit isn't ingrained yet, but I'm getting there. It's taking a lot of prayer to keep me going.

BTW, I stopped at your blog before. My computer wasn't cooperating when it came to commenting. I'll try again later. :)

Blessings,
Susan

quietspirit said...

Susan:
I don't think an unplug week would do anything but drive me crazy.
I have some days I don't get on my computer. If I am under the weather, I don't try.
If I have to be somewhere at a certain time, I stay off of it unless I haven't printed out something I need for writing group, Drama Ministry Meeting,or a board meeting.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

LOL! I feel the same way.

Cindy did bring up another possibility: a partial unplug. I guess it could be compared to a partial fast.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

Susan,
You're so right! Here I am reading your blog, and jumping from one to another when I ought to be focusing on my WIP! Thanks for the swift kick I needed!
Susan

Jody Hedlund said...

It is so easy to let internet time suck up writing time if we're not aware of it. Being aware is the first step! Then setting limits is next! Hope you can keep to your plan!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Susan -

LOL! Well, I'm glad you're here reading my blog, but hope you'll carve out time for your writing.

I'm checking email and moderating comments. I've set a time limit. Then it's off to focus on the book and hopefully log another 2,000 words. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh dear. You would ask! I try to discipline myself to one hour of blogging and one hour of writing a day. I wish I could do more of both, but alas...

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jody -

I enjoy blogging, email, and the Internet so much that I could stay on it all day. I've even been known to eat my meals at the computer. It was time to pull in the reins.

I'd appreciate your prayers for my writing and my self-discipline. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

You're doing great! One hour of blogging? I'm just getting warmed up at that point. LOL!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jaime said...

I don't think I'm managing my blog very well of late! LOL my work has gotten more demanding, my brain has consistently shut off (perhaps due to pregnancy???), etc. HOWEVER, an uplug week? out of the question. I'd miss everyone too much! :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jaime -

Thanks for stopping in and commenting. :)

I couldn't unplug completely for a whole week either. Now, I might be able to swing a partial unplug week.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Karen Lange said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Praise and Coffee said...

Hello Susan, you are my October Praise and Coffee winner!
Drop me an email with your home address and I'll send out your goodies!!!
Sue

http://praiseandcoffee.blogspot.com/2009/10/october-winner.html

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sue -

Yay!!! Thank you. I'll email you right away.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Terri Tiffany said...

Good points here. I don't do unplug week and after being away almost two weeks-- I find I missed the camaraderie and the encouragement to write from everyone!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

Welcome home! I missed you, as well as your posts. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Lily Robinson said...

Yes! I don't do unplug week, but I lost my home internet connection for over a week! I finally got it back Wednesday. I had to go to the library to check my mail! But I did learn better time management on the blogs, and I'm trying to keep that habit now that I'm back online at home.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Lily -

I had the same experience a few weeks ago when my computer went down. Surprise! I'm now carving out 3-4 hours a day to write. (I'm unemployed at the moment.)

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Always good to see you.

Blessings,
Susan :)