Sara Daniel Romance Author: Tuesday Toolbox - Going Offline

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday Toolbox - Going Offline

Yes, the Internet is essential for today’s writer—research at your fingertips, emails from your editor and endless author loops, connecting with readers through Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest and more. But good grief, with all that going on, who has the time, inclination and willpower to actually write?

You, if you want to call yourself a writer.

I’ve found in the past year that when it’s time to write, I need to physically get away from my Internet connection. I like to go to the other end of my house with an old laptop that’s not connected to the Internet. I sit in a big comfy chair with the laptop on my crossed legs and write. When the weather is nice, I take the laptop outside to a lawn chair or picnic table.

For those without a laptop or who can’t turn off the Internet connection, there are programs you can install that will lock you off the Internet during set times. These limits work great for some people. I personally hate the idea of a machine telling me what I can and can’t do.

Going away with a pen and paper is the most obvious, cheapest, and most low-tech way to get away from Internet distractions. Although I love my pen and paper for brainstorming, my fingers can’t keep up with my brain when I’m writing long-hand, so I much prefer typing.

For those who need to type and need to be offline but don’t have an old laptop option, I highly recommend an AlphaSmart or similar device. This is a simple word processor. The batteries last forever, and it is instantly “on” the moment you press the power button. All you can do on it is type. When you’re done, you plug it into the USB drive on your computer, and it acts like a keyboard, dumping what you’ve already typed straight into your Word document.

All that’s left for you to do is marvel at how many new words you wrote today…and catch up on your email and all those Facebook status updates you missed!


  1. I've learned....internet needs to be OFF when I' writing or I'll procrastinate my heart away and before I know it, the day is over and I've not got half as much writing done and I would have liked or had planned for.
    Have you got an AlphaSmart? I was looking at those before xmas, wondering if it'd be a good idea or not. Prob an excellent idea if traveling considering the batteries last forever ;)

  2. I LOVE my Alphasmart 3000 so much! I totally agree that we have to control the online distractions. great post!

  3. I've resorted to unplugging my router when I absolutely have to churn words out. At which point I turn on my phone's 4G so I can do "research." *sigh*