Posts Tagged ‘Discipline’

So many times when I sit down to write, I’ll do a “quick check” of my e-mail, and spend 30 minutes deleting, organizing, replying, and following links—thirty minutes, gone. Or I’ll hit a temporary dead end in a scene, and take a break by checking a couple of favorite websites, and lose a whole hour before I remember “Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be writing!”

I’ve come up with a fairly simple way to avoid this kind of distraction. I’ve created an alternate user account for my computer. When I’m serious about getting some writing done, I log in using my pen name instead of my real name. My alternate identity doesn’t have Outlook set up. It doesn’t have my bookmarks list. It does still have Internet access, so that I can check words at Thesaurus.com, or do any other relevant research, but I’ve blocked my most tempting sites with Firefox Ad Block.

If you still want to be able to access your writing from your main account, use the Shared Files folder. Just make sure that both accounts have administrative privileges, or you won’t be able to save any changes to your work while you’re using the limited account.

I am a Windows user, so I don’t know if this would work with a Mac or Linux OS, since I’m not familiar with those systems.

Of course, this doesn’t make it impossible to get distracted, but it does make it a lot harder, and most of the time that’s all I need to stay on track.


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