Thursday, October 01, 2009

WiFi: Friend or Foe?

After yesterday's writing extravaganza, I'm tempted to say FRIEND!

Here's the background: yesterday my son had an early release day from school, which meant that I had three less hours to write. I thought to myself, maybe I should TRY going to a coffee shop close to his school and see if I can just put my head down and write until time to pick him up. Normally, coffee shops distract me. I'm not like the rest of you. I don't listen to music while I write. I don't have easy Internet access at home (I dial-up, on purpose). I'm easily distracted by shiny, which includes people wandering by, snacks to eat, friends to chat with, and etc. So I thought going to the coffee shop was a 50/50 shot at getting a lot done.

I wrote 3,000 words. For me? That's HUGE.

Especially when you consider it I wrote it in half the time I usually have for writing. (Were all of them good words? Jury is still out, but I think the scene ideas are sound... if not the execution.)

Weirdly, I think my success had a lot to do with the fact that, instead of taking twenty minutes to check my e-mail, it took two. When I wanted a second or two of distraction, ie. reading some status updates on Facebook, I could do it in a millisecond and come back to my writing instantly.

This goes against my usual sense of such things. Normally, I tend to rid myself of as many distractions as possible. First thing I do when I get a new laptop is remove ALL the games.


I'm trying my experiment again today. If it's a repeatable result I'll change my hypothesis. Maybe WiFi could be my friend.


Douglas Hulick said...

Aside from having it to do on-the-spot research (which is a huge bene at times), WiFi is more of a bane than a boon for me most days. It's just too easy to flip from site to site (or article to article to...) whenever I hit a slow or rough spot in the word output. I try to turn the WiFi on my laptop off more often than not when I have serious work to do.

Maybe it's because I'm used to a faster connection; if I had a slower one, I suspect I would be so frustrated I simply wouldn't use it until I had absolute down time. So, really, your home environment (in terms of net access) sounds ideal for me by contrast. ;)

Paul Lamb said...

Except . . .

Faster access could mean that you find greater chance to pursue diversions.