The problem with writing on a computer is that it’s become our access to the rest of the world. It’s so easy to get distracted by social media sites. I am guilty of working on my novel and then going to the internet to look up a fact for historical accuracy, only to get side-lined. Before I know it, I’m reading all kinds of interesting historical things from that time period. Then I’ll check up on my Facebook friends, check my email, maybe look on Allrecipes for a fresh idea for that chuck roast in the fridge, and before long, an hour has passed and I’ve lost touch with my novel. I’ve wasted precious time and now I have other things I must do. Writing over.
An internet blocking app keeps you focused. You set it for the period of time you want to write, say an hour or two, and for that period, you CANNOT access the internet. Even if you restart your computer. These programs are designed to be rather resilient for the writer who wants to cheat.
I used to use Freedom. It was a flat fee of $10. It was very popular, but their flat fee is now $119. I talked with someone at Freedom and he said they have made a lot of improvements, hence the new price. The older version will not work on my newer iOS. Personally, I don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. I just want a basic blocker. I found a great free app! SelfControl. Oxymoron, eh? But it’s for Mac users only. For Windows, try Cold Turkey. There’s a free version and a paid version with more features for just $19.
The internet blocking app is very successful for me. I tend to race the clock. If I only set it for an hour, I’m uber-focused for that hour. I mentally disconnect from text messages and other external interference. It’s a brain game, I guess, but it works for me. If you’re not using an internet blocker, you should give it a try.