Freedom Reprise

“As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” – Henry David Thoreau

I don’t usually plug products in my newsletter essay or blog posts, but this month, Freedom saved my bacon so I will make an exception. Like many folks I know, I spend way too much time on social media and possibly on the Internet in general. I find myself on Facebook before I realize I’m there. And wow does time fly while I’m “like-ing” all the cute animal videos and making angry faces on political posts that upset me.

Technically, I have to be on Facebook sometimes since I have an author page. But I don’t have to be there all day. I can schedule my author posts so they appear throughout the day even though I’ve created them all in the same hour.

So how do I tame my desire to see every running photo any of my friends or their friends or anyone in the world anywhere posts on social media? Enter Freedom. I love it so much that I wrote about it back in 2014. I’d forgotten to use it for a while, but recently, with deadlines looming, I went back to it like an old friend.

Freedom is software that limits access to certain websites. It works both on a computer or your phone. I use it to block Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Yes. I’m the kind of woman who, if Facebook isn’t available, will spend inordinate amounts of time making LinkedIn connections under the guise of marketing. For shame!

With Freedom, I can start a blocking session immediately or schedule one for later. The scheduled blocks work well to remind me to go to bed. If it’s 10:30PM and both Ed and the puppy are snoring, perhaps I don’t need to read one more post about how to use the Insta Pot. I don’t even cook!

No, I am not being paid for this. I am not an affiliate or linked to Freedom in any way. I just know, as writers and human beings, our time is limited. We need to use it wisely. I’m not very good at that. So I let Freedom do for me what I can’t do for myself.

Do you have distractions that keep you from writing? How do you manage them? I’d love to hear more about it.


“Writing a book is 10% inspiration and 90% not being distracted by the internet.” George Dyson

Facebook. Twitter. Buzzfeed. Instragram. Pinterest. Goodreads. And so many more. I mean just the internet in general. These potential distractions all make it easier than ever to avoid writing. We get sucked into this world of cuddly puppy photos, recipes, and political rants not to mention cat videos and e-postcards created by friends and relatives. What’s a writer to do?

Lately I’ve been using Freedom, an inexpensive program, to minimize distractions (aka the internet). You tell the program how long you want “freedom” from the internet and it blocks you for that amount of time. To regain access before the time has expired you have to restart your computer. You can use the trial version five times before you must switch to a paid version. There’s also Anti-social which only blocks social media. That way, you can do research, but not check Twitter. Freedom and Anti-social are not magic bullets.

I still find myself trying to click to Facebook before I realize what I’m doing. But once I remember my “freedom,” I get back to work. Maybe these will work for you!

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