distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

Delicious and Deadly Distractions

I’d like to design myself a web page that my browser automatically goes to when I’m trying to write but am attempting to visit any page that is not Pandora (which contains my own personal radio station for writing, so I think I should be allowed to keep going to it). The web page would be plain white. On the screen would be these words in the biggest font allowable in html:



Maybe it would have a big red hand in the background, like a stop sign. I once worked at a company where we weren’t allowed to check personal email. If you went to Gmail your browser would show a giant red hand saying something like: “Access Denied.” Of course, that big red hand filled me with rage because I cannot go eight hours on a weekday without checking my email (in case the glorious acceptance letter can be found there; it has happened), but… It’s not so mean if I do it to myself, is it?

Then again, if I was writing and came up against those words and a big red hand, I might get mad at my computer and want to pitch it across the room.

I like writing in public cafes—so long as they’re not too loud. I can be around numerous distractions and just zone out and live an hour inside my own world as if no one else is there. I’ve gotten very used to it, living here in New York. Still, the internet is destroying me. The internet has too much on it. News and weird stories and this election and things and people and places to look up on Wikipedia and your blogs, all of them, where I want to read and comment, and don’t even bring up Facebook, which I’m losing interest in, but because of it a whole bunch of people I never otherwise would be in touch with are in touch, and I’m pretty sure I owe a dozen reply messages. I love this cafe, but I really wish it didn’t have wireless internet.

It doesn’t matter. I will finish this chapter today.

There is nothing to see here. Look away, I tell myself. Write.

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6 responses to “Delicious and Deadly Distractions”

  1. I think you need something a little more friendly than a big red hand. Like maybe a cute cartoon dinosaur or something.

  2. well… login as my user on your computer (so you can restrict your user) and:

    System Preferences -> Parental Controls -> Content -> Website Restrictions -> “Allow access to only these websites” -> add Pandora.


  3. Nell: I’ve never seen that before! I love it!

    In other news, it seems like talking down to myself and threatening big red hands seems to help. I finished the chapter today 🙂

  4. Sometimes I get distracted by teh intarwebs too. I just turn off my airport, put the machine to sleep, get up and do something short (order coffee, go smoke, something that only takes a few moments) and then when I get back, the illusion that ‘this place has no freakin’ wireless!’ is nearly complete.

    Actually, I got a lot of work done when I went home because no place HAD wireless at all. And in airports to and from places because I refuse to pay for it. (Hint, if you have a plug-in piece, bury it deep in your luggage).

    That still doesn’t get you your pandora station, though. Hrm. Perhaps if you could email me the usual contents I could see what I could do…

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