Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NaNoWriMo #15: Ignoring the Siren Call of the Internet

Today we have two authors with the same message. I’m putting them together to also contrast writing styles. Alex Berenson is the NYT bestselling author of spy novels, the most recent being The Secret Soldier. Alex, a former reporter for the New York Times, started his career as a novelist after being deployed in Afghanistan for the newspaper. Thrillers need to be punchy and direct, compelling readers to keep turning those pages, as witnessed by Alex’s crisp advice, below. You can follow Alex on Facebook here and Twitter here.

 "Turn off your wireless connection.  And read."

Our second tipster is Kristina Yoshida McMorris. Kristina is the author of Letters From Home, historical women’s fiction. Her novel has been widely embraced by readers across genres and is beloved by book clubs, which are hotly anticipating the release of her second novel, Bridge of Scarlet Leaves. Here you get a sense of Kristina's more conversational writing style, and she gives practical advice on how to disentangle yourself from the Internet. You can follow Kristina on Facebook here and Twitter here.

“Pull the plug! To the Internet, that is. Turn off the modem, the router, whatever it takes to disconnect you from Cyber World so you can focus on the writing. And if your cell phone does anything more than make phone calls (unless it makes margaritas, of course), turn that off too. There's so much distracting 'noise' out there (FB! Twitter! Squirrel! Shiny!), like an army of techno-gremlins determined to keep you from reaching your final word count. Don't give them the chance. And if going cold-turkey is as terrifying as skydiving without a parachute (or a Blackberry), wean in doses and with mini-goals: type for 30 minutes = read new e-mails; finish the scene = check updates on Tweetdeck. Whatever it takes to disconnect, freeing your mind to focus, dare to take the plunge.”


  1. I definitely agree with these suggestions - and find them surprisingly difficult to implement. Despite the fact that it made the "business" side of things more complicated, I definitely worked more efficiently when I didn't have an internet connection at my apartment. I would consider trying the Freedom program (http://macfreedom.com/).

  2. i found a program that would basically allow me to set it for a certain period and it would block me being able to get on the internet etc...it was great when i wanted to do work, because in order to override it, I had to completely shut down my system and re-boot it