Sunday, October 23, 2011

The internet is great sucks. A lot.

I have a ritual I have to complete before I can write. Unfortunately, I am not one of those “write anytime, anywhere” authors and for the record if you are one, I loathe the very ground you walk on. So there.

I prefer to write in the mornings. My ideas feel fresher. My head hasn’t become filled with the List (clean the apartment, walk the dogs, mail the car payment in, brush my teeth, etc) and I can concentrate on my characters and their problems instead of mine. Like most aspiring writers I have another full time job, but am lucky in that I am able to live where I work and can spread my work hours around if my boss is in a good mood. I am still trying to make her understand that my writing should take precedence over the actual job she has hired me for. Bet you can guess how well that’s going.

Before I can sit down in front of my computer I need coffee. I was never a big coffee drinker until my last job with the boss Who Shall Not Be Named and now I can't function without it. The stuff is bad news. It should come with one of those surgeon general warnings, like cigarettes and alcohol. I've tried to stop, but the withdrawal headaches are awful, and some part of my brain has convinced me that if I don't drink coffee I can't write. So I turn on my Keurig (love love love) first thing and have my coffee in hand before I settle down in front of my large antique desk with it's chipped white paint on the sides and natural wood on top that has worn smooth with age. I keep the desk free of clutter and with the exception of my laptop, two pictures of my animals, a paper clipped list of wedding guest addresses, and a cracked coffee cup filled with miscellaneous pens and markers, it is clear.

As I sip my too hot coffee I boot up my computer. It only takes about thirty seconds or so, and I type in my password without thinking. If I had will power I would ignore the little blue E icon with the gold colored hoop around it and go straight for Microsoft Word. But I don't have any will power (as my secret junk food stash can attest) and so I ignore my current work in progress and pull up the internet. An hour later I have browsed through Facebook, checked my e-mail, and fed my neopets (don't judge me). I've checked on my two blogs, wasted some more time on Craigslist (I do not need another horse, I do not need another horse) and checked Facebook one more time to see if there have been any updates. Finally when I have run out of webpages to visit, I click the little red X and send the internet away. I open up Microsoft and get ready to write, but by this time my first cup of coffee is gone and I have to get up and make another. When I get back to my desk I can't help but wonder if the e-mail I have been waiting on all morning has arrived, and even though I tell myself I will just check Yahoo, I somehow end up back on Facebook. Then of course I have to recheck my blogs, because what if someone left a comment I have to respond to? And maybe my neopets are hungry again so I'll just take care of them real quick.

By the time I finally get my internet fix I have finished a cup and half of coffee and only have thirty minutes left before I have to go back to work. I force myself to open Microsoft for the second time and get busy. Luckily my brain does best when it is has limited time to work with and normally I am able to pump out around 2,000 words per half hour sitting. It is less than half of what Mr. King says we as writers should strive for daily, but I'll be back after lunch to write some more check Facebook again.

I do have to wonder how much I would be able to write on a daily basis if the internet did not exist. Maybe some day I will have the will power to say NO to Mark Zuckerberg. Until then, I will try to cut my pre-writing internet time down by five minutes every day (ten on Sundays) until my daily word count gets up to where it should be.  


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