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Recharging my batteries

Today I had a computer-free morning. Not because I had to run errands, shuttle kids, or clean the house, but because I wanted to. It was great. I should do it more often.

Taking the morning off sounds like such a simple thing, but I sometimes spend 10-15 hours in front of the computer (not always writing, unfortunately), even on weekends. A break is a big deal.

I had originally planned to keep my computer offline and write, but I wasn’t ready. The scene was churning, but not ready to be committed to binary. So, I read a book. One that has been on my pile for a while, but kept getting pushed down for other books that needed to be returned to a neighbor or the library.

Here’s the big revelation. When I logged on during lunch to check email and Twitter, I hadn’t really missed much. Yes, some of the Twitter chatter is lost forever. I’m sure I’ll survive. That lesson alone was worth the five hours unplugged! 😉

I need to spend less time in front of the screen, and more of my screen time writing. The only way to do that is to limit my time online. Back in January I set some goals that included how much time I’d spend on things like Facebook (which gets a lot less attention now that I tweet) and reading blogs. Somewhere along the way, I lost track of the daily plan.

Today was a good lesson. Not only did I enjoy my screen break, but it was good for my creative juices. I had a little inspiration at the gym that took the scene I’d been pondering and turned it into 2-3 scenes. A bit of my heroine’s background that played a minor role before just became an important part of the story. I love when that happens!

So, you may see me on Twitter less–if not, feel free to berate me publicly–and I’ll be cutting out or procrastinating some of my blog/article reading (using instapaper.com to save without adding more bookmarks has been great).

I want to be able to write and read. To network with friends without spending my entire day at the keyboard. To walk the dog or go to lunch with a friend without feeling guilty about the time away from my precious laptop.

Next time my MacBook is charging its batteries, I’ll be recharging my own.

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0 Comments

  1. Reply

    Way to Go! I was NOT offline today, but I did manage to log in 3.5-4 hours of work on my MS plot structure and the assignments for my workshop in Hotlanta. I wanted to be “free,” but I had an HOA issue brewing and I had to address it via email as well as another issue for medical forms. Blech.

    My big time buster? Paperwork catch up.

    Never mind, I managed to work harder when the grunt work was finished and I could sit to write.

    I’m glad you took a break. I have started doing that as well: reading more (just finished Sam and Alyssa’s story — sigh) and being in the “real” world is so nice.

    • Reply

      Nice. There are definitely days when I can’t be offline. And last month when I was moderating the PRO class, I about went nuts for it. I’m going to have plenty of forced days off this summer, so I don’t want to go overboard, but I need to keep my priorities straight.

      One of these days I’m going to start Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series over from the beginning. The stories are all great, but Sam & Alyssa, Cosmo & Jane, and Tracy & Decker (*love* Decker) are probably my tops. Oh, yeah, and Stan & Teri…;-)

      • Reply

        I just finished my homework for the workshop. I can’t wait to go to Atlanta and learn more about my story. I also got my structure outlined. Finally. I do have to shift scenes a bit, and the middle is a bit murky, but the pinch points and two major plot points are there. I also had a good flow in the number of breaks and pages for each Act (shocker). That doesn’t mean it won’t change, but if I can stick to the Plot Points and the overall tent poles are in place, maybe the sinew, muscles and bones will emerge.

        Tons of brainstorming, too! I can’t wait to call and tell you about a fun idea I had and YOU gave me the seed eons ago!

  2. Reply

    Great post!
    As if you were expressing exactly how I feel!
    I keep tweeting and blogging even outside the house, when at the doctor’s office or grocery store, I have a severe case!!!!

    I have noticed that the best ideas come to me when I am at least few hours away from the internet!
    Thanks for the great post Gwen!

  3. Reply

    Great post. I feel the same way. I think it had to do with PRO class and new obsession with tweeterdeck. Good job on the writing! That’s always exciting. Now I should get off and do some writing myself.

    • Reply

      Thanks, Clarissa. The PRO class really was crazy. I felt like I had to be on all day in case someone posted a message. I didn’t want them to wait hours for it to show up on the loop.

      Yeah, go write! 😉

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