A few months ago, my home internet didn’t work for ten days. Since I make a living using the internet, this was a huge problem for me and I tried to get it fixed right away. The company, (whom I won’t name even though they did an abysmal job helping me, but will if you ask), was beyond unhelpful.

But while I was unplugged, I learned something.

I write more, and sometimes better, when I’m not on the internet all the time. I wasn’t distracted by blogs, or Facebook updates. I wasn’t constantly checking to see if it was my turn in “Words with Friends” and I broke the cycle of playing “Angry Birds.”

What’s more is that while I was online, I didn’t check those things as much because I had less time to do what I had to do to make a living.

In short, I was more organized, more proactive and more motivated to get stuff done. I worked like mad on both of my novels (the one I’m editing and the one I’m writing) and I did tons of article research in a limited time frame. It was wonderful.

The Decision to Say No

I’ve been making a lot of decisions lately. I tend to be a bit of a pushover and agree to too much and try to do too much. One of the things I’ve decided recently is that I will take one day every month and not get online. That includes not checking facebook or email. I don’t need it. I can say no. And I’ll be better off for it. I can check it the next day and if someone wants to get in touch with me there’s always the phone.

Part of the reason for that decision is that while unplugged I:

*Spent more time with my husband

*Played more with my puppy

*Exceeded my exercise goals (one hour per day, which includes 20 minutes of yoga and 20 minutes of cardio)

*Edited 50 pages of my novel

*Wrote 42 pages of my novel

*Put together a bunch of blog posts and ideas – they had to be edited and fleshed out, but still

*Wrote 7 awesome query letters

*Watched less television (by default)

End Results

All in all, that a third of a month without internet was a good experience for me. That doesn’t mean I want to go through it again.

What does being unplugged do for you? What decisions have you made lately to further your writing? What made you come to those conclusions?

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  1. I know what you mean. I was just at a 5-day conf. “unplugged” and in free time did more writing. The same was true when I sat in ATL airport for nearly 5 mostly undistracted hours. Thanks for your post!

  2. Robin says:

    Delores – It’s always nice when that happens, isn’t it?

  3. Being unplugged makes me focus more on my family, listening to the quiet, and getting so much more done. And because you can’t control it, you have nothing to feel guilty about. Thanks for a great post, Michelle.

  4. I get up each morning at 5 and don’t look at my email or go on the Internet until after 8. I was AMAZED at how much more I get done! Great post.

    • Robin McClure says:

      Pat, this is awesome! That’s very wise. 🙂

  5. Emily says:

    Most of the time I don’t have that option, because of the amount of school homework I get.
    But when I DON’T have internet, it helps. A lot.
    When I have internet, it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day. When I don’t have internet, it seems like there are more than enough hours.
    I’m going to do the same as you: go without internet for a day every fortnight. See what happens!

    • Robin McClure says:

      Emily, I definitely know what you mean. There are a lot of phenomenon like that. It’s unfortunate, really. But I love your commitment to trying to go without internet once a fortnight.

  6. Robin McClure says:

    Michelle, I think you’re right. It’s refreshing in a lot of ways.

  7. I try to go one day a month without internet as well. Also, I recently went through my Facebook account and got rid of most of the fanpages I was admining, cut down my friend list to the friends I actually cared about (I went from 300 friends to 32), and Liked a bunch of writing pages. Now my Facebook experience is all about writing, so when I get on it’s only to see what my close friends are up to and remind myself that I should be writing.

    • Hi Katie!
      What a great idea. Sometimes we need to clean up our lives and our time-wasters. Hope you’re doing a lot of writing.

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