Thursday, 2 June 2011

Want to write? Turn off your computer!

Yesterday I took a break from my computer. I turned it off the night before and didn't turn it back on until this morning. It was nice to sit in cafes all day scribbling in a notebook like writers are supposed to do. I wrote half a short story and got a chunk of research done for my next history book.

Sitting at the computer is tiring and distracting. There are a million things you can do online, half of them plausibly work related. When I'm in front of the screen, especially after a few hours, my mind gets scattered and I do five things at once. I check my email way too often and become increasingly inefficient.

Having a computer-free day was fun and productive and easy on the eyes. I think I'll try to do it once a week, work permitting. One thing I noticed when I logged in after a 24-hour lull was that nothing had fallen apart. There were no emails that I absolutely had to reply to, Gadling was still online, and my books were still selling on Amazon.

So take note, writers, you don't need your computer as much as you think you do.

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Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

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