I’m in media detox, day four… anyone want to join me?

Email and internet detox, specifically. I decided last week that November is going to be THE MONTH for getting a ton of writing done, and step one toward that goal is curbing some of my online habits. My own rule for November is this: write 2000 words or write without interruption for 4 hours or wait until 3 pm (whichever comes latest) — and only then check email or work on the blog or otherwise surf.

I managed to do it for three days. Then I fell off the wagon, predictably, on Election Day. (A completely acceptable lapse.) Following that, I thought “President Obama won — we can all get back to work!” but alas, the following day there was more essential news to consume. As there was again today. (New administration, cabinet; unresolved Alaska races; lots of excitement at one end of the spectrum and frustration at the other). Which tells me that if I don’t detox again, I’m in trouble. So I’m back to the plan. I managed to stay offline again today and I’m feeling great.

I can’t join NaNoWriMo because I’m mid-project, but my personal plan for November is to write 30,000 words. So far, I’ve got 4300 under my belt. (My 10-year-old daughter is kicking my butt, closer to her monthly writing goal than I am to mine, but that’s fine; we must let the next generation feel good about vanquishing us.)

I tell you all this not because I am bragging, but because I am committing. Publicly. I must get to the middle of my current novel-in-progress. Winter is the ideal time.

I would LOVE to hear other people’s goals — come on, buddy system! — whether it is a wordcount to accomplish, a project to edit, a certain number of books to read. You tell me. No lurking. Make it public, here.

9 thoughts on “I’m in media detox, day four… anyone want to join me?”

  1. This is just what I needed to see after media overload on Barack, John, Sarah, and Joe (Biden, not plumber, although there’s been too much of him too). Being a joiner, I’d love to commit to something – okay, here goes: no technological media until I’ve spent at least an hour each evening (after the dreaded office day job) on one of 3 projects: sending out queries for first book, research for 2nd book that is just getting underway, or working on an old essay I’ve always wanted to revisit and try to get published. Okay, ready, set… log off!

  2. Andromeda Romano-Lax

    Thank you, buddy Karenb. I needed that. I fell off the wagon yesterday because I was working on a book proposal and had to go online to check some facts, and then stumbled back into email etc. and didn’t get off for a while. Plus I just got active on Facebook (uh-oh). But Monday I try again. Try, try, try again! I will be sending you my best-karma wishes and hoping you can resist the forces of online distraction for at least one hour each evening. (And after a fulltime day job. That’s extra tough.) Go for it!

  3. My lame attempt at techno-detox reminds me of promises to “eat better this week!” Day One: Start full of resolve to eat only salads and fruit, discover half-box of Junior Mints, figure what the hell, eat pizza for dinner. Day Two: Pretty much the same. Etc.

    Here’s what I’m trying. I cleared out a bunch of news/politics links from my bookmarks. (Not all of them….something important might happen, like a lawyer comes to Alaska to take Sarah Palin’s wardrobe away.) I stopped recording Rachel Maddow. And today I relearned the lesson not to look at email first, as I have now wandered around in the Web for an hour-and-a-half pretending to answer a question, which brought me here for more fun reading.

    Here’s my contribution to the cause: a shareware program for Macs that uses a timer to shut off Internet connections.


    Now, trying to find the strength to turn it on….

  4. Andromeda Romano-Lax

    Hey Sherry — great to see you here! I actually planned to try one of those timers but unfortunately, it’s Mac and I’m not. I looked for similar software or gadgets for PC, but didn’t stumble across any, and when I asked Brian if he’d simply hide my router box, he gave me the hairy eyeball. I think he expects me to be SELF-disciplined.

    Good job cleaning out those bookmarks.

  5. Ack, see struggling writer. See struggling writer turn on Mac, just to type up some research notes. See struggling writer remember she sent out queries over the weekend, and perhaps she should check emails, just in case said queries just happened to reach East Coast at warp speed and agents actually read and responded to queries at quadruple warp speed. See struggling writer decide to look up just one little piece of book research on the Internet, then get distracted by the little RSS feed indicator on her bookmarks line noting that several of her favorite blogs have new posts. See struggling writer wonder who else has committed to media detox, click on comments section, and realize the irony. Or is it paradox? See struggling writer enter comment and then log off AGAIN, carry Mac downstairs to husband and ask him to hide the damn computer from her already.

  6. karenb and andromeda,

    Full confession: I begged for an intervention and had even convinced my husband to change the password on our wireless thing-y. (He also suggested that I just use “self-discipline.” I hit him.)

    Then I realized I could tune into a neighbor’s unprotected signal anytime I wanted. Going around and asking the neighbors to please get passwords seemed….a little pushy. And desperate.

    Andromeda, because I spent a few hours desperately searching for a Mac-worthy timer, I did run across a few Windows options. I consider it research since I proposed a panel at Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference on dealing with distractions.

    This one seems complicated from my simplistic Mac-view, but maybe it works?


    If you use Firefox, they have some clever little devices. If you go to https://addons.mozilla.org and search for TimeTracker, 8aweek, or Auto Browser Closer, you might find something useful.

    This download for Macs and PCs analyzes how you use your time online. It seems way too depressing.

    Or, if you’re really desperate, there’s always Write Or Die…..


    BTW, cruising around I saw this headline: “Web addiction to be clinical disorder.” So maybe there will be a pill to help us. Soon, I hope. Please, God, soon….

  7. I just discovered your blog. Too late for media detox… but I’ll pipe up with a late writing goal: Meet or beat the rest of my deadlines for the month. Sounds simple on the surface…

  8. Andromeda Romano-Lax

    Welcome Lisa. Well, I fell off the media detox wagon once more but every time I see someone else post a goal, I’m inspired to try again. Perhaps we could start a new blogpost and people can make December or January goals.

  9. Andromeda Romano-Lax

    And to Sherry, I never thanked you for the latest post, but THANK YOU for that incredible list of software links and devices. Would enjoy seeing you give an entire tech-savvy talk on how to avoid distractions.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top