Last night, around midnight, my husband came to bed to find me browsing on my laptop. He accused me of being addicted to my ‘screen/internet. It’s not the first time he’s said it. We had a row because I was reading an article, which somehow did not feel like browsing the internet in a random manner, but he has a point. The truth is that since writing these last four sentences, I have already been on facebook, and then checked my emails. Facebook was to ostensibly check a post about another author who is addicted to the internet and checking email is just force of habit - I am expecting a reply from son’s school – well that is the excuse, that is what I believe.
Apparently some authors including, Nick Hornby and Sadie Smith use programmes such as Freedom to restrict their internet use while they are writing. I imagined cutting off my internet and shuddered with horror. What about all the research I need to do? The author of The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen once said, “It’s doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction.” I remember at the time it struck a cord, and it still does.
The fact is I finished my last novel in January, and have done nothing really about starting anything else – I do waste a considerable amount of time browsing - sometimes an hour passes and I’m not sure where the time has gone. I don’t want to go cold turkey but I must. Or I need the discipline to have a set time in the day to check emails and go online rather than cruising randomly throughout the day.
I have just downloaded the software to start this experiment. Perhaps I will at last be able to start my fourth novel. My new software is now installed (see I couldn’t wait to finish this writing before googling Freedom and installing it) It's installed for one hour (small steps). This feels rather liberating, although I had already planned to go out in fifteen minutes!