How To Not Let The Internet Distract You From Achieving Your Writing Goals
If the Internet was a person, it would be a controlling, domineering, entitled man but one who has enough accolades to be hero-worshipped by the masses; one who, like the Ambani’s or the Rockefeller’s, manipulates the fate of those who never have and never will cross paths with him. A man who has a looming presence, even in his absence, as if, if we manage to piss him off for merely existing, we’ll be blacklisted from our own lives. A sadistic orchestra conductor who derives pleasure from waving his baton to a cacophony, not a melody. Basically, an asshole of the highest order.
And this is especially true for writers and artists, musicians and poets, potters and singers. For us, this omnipotent entity is at once a library of information, a muse for inspiration, a stamp of validation, and bait for procrastination.
I have often wondered how writers from decades ago wrote so prolifically, producing upwards of a hundred poems or prose, upwards of ten, fifty novels, novellas and letters that continue to sing the melancholy of lovers’ hearts. Almost always, I reach the same conclusion: they weren’t ensnared by the Goddamn Internet!
I’m distracted by a lot of things - a new home project, a random thought I must urgently share with whomever's’ earshot I may be in, a long-lost friend I must track down immediately. But, the Internet is a devil in disguise. It saps hours of your time, and gallons of your creative juices without letting an inkling alert you. Asshole, I told you. I’m not a violent person, but I’m certainly no Gandhi. I’m more like the sage who said that it’s okay to kill a scorpion first if it’s going to kill you eventually. So, here are five fangs I’ve trained to combat the Chi-sucking Internet:
1. A shitty Internet connection
We can’t survive without the Internet. We can’t fight this fact. But, we can do ourselves a huge favour by getting a shitty Internet that collapses every time it so much as drizzles, so we may soak in the humbling rhythms of nature rather than dizzying blue light emanating from the screen.
2. A glossary of boring videos
One of the superpowers of the Internet is that it can bore us to death. Spend some time searching the forgotten crevices where only one or five Earthlings have visited and bookmark those abandoned loopholes of the Internet world. They will become your armour in times when you find your work - writing, that is - too tedious. Spending time in those craters of painfully dull content will feel more arduous than any word-count target you may have set for yourself.
3. Inspirational videos that are in fact propellants of guilt-trips
All this positive psychology bullshit on the Internet is just that - bullshit. But these videos have a way of making you feel like you are disrespecting this gift of life that’s been given to you by sitting on your bum. They may not give you writing material, and they may even reinforce all the self-deprecating thoughts you have mastered over the years. But, they guilt-trip you into giving back to the “Universe”. Writing is an act of giving back.
4. Screen brightness on max
This is a nifty trick that transforms the pain of wasting away your life into a physical fact - rotting eyes. Do this until you can’t stand to stare at the screen anymore, but your mind is still too active to take a nap. Use that energy to write in a notebook. On paper. With a pen. You know, like the prolific writers of a bygone era used to.
5. Keeping one arm up in the air when I browse the Internet
And every time you need to give your arm some rest, you are required to write something.