Tuesday, November 03, 2009

No NaBloPoMo for Me

I have participated in NaBloPoMo twice. It was always worth it, although I believe the resulting posts were not always all they could have been.

This year? I just can't do it. I have too much on my proverbial plate. However, I did think I would try to do something a little different. You see, I am trying something new. I am self-binding. And while that does conjure up an image for me that is less than pleasant, it is actually an attempt to create some space in my life... space that The Internet is taking up. The author of the article, Stop Your Search Engines, defines self-binding as...

"intentionally creating an obstacle to behavior I was helpless to control, much the way Ulysses lashed himself to his ship's mast to avoid succumbing to the Sirens' song..."

(3 November 2009)

I've announced this on Twitter and Facebook so many of you will already know about this. However, here at Life, the Universe and Everything, I thought I might take some of my Internet-allowed time to share a little bit of my experience as I go along.

Regular readers (Hi there, all 5 of you!) will know that I am really, truly, FINALLY trying to write my masters' project. Life had thrown a few obstacles in my path. I have thrown a few obstacles in my path. But the countdown is on. I need to start knocking out chapters... like NOW, baby. But I am addicted to my social networking time. I had discussed this with my sister-in-law and when she read the article, she forwarded it to me. I don't have the right computer (a Mac) to install the program that it mentions, called Freedom, which lets you tell the computer when NOT to let you use the Internet. However, I do have a removable wireless card for my laptop, which is a long, embarrassing story of a woman who was so anxious to order her new computer that she accidentally deselected the internal wireless card during the ordering process.

The good news, though, is that allows me to hand over my wireless card to my husband at 10 a.m. and retrieve it from him at 8 p.m. These are somewhat random hours... it gives me time to do a little hanging out on Twitter with some of the bestest people ever in the morning and also attempts to make me available to my family for the afternoon and evening--without a laptop in between us.

Yesterday was Day One of my Ulysses-inspired experiment and things actually went very well. I did a little bit of writing on my project but the most beneficial aspect of it all was that I interacted with my family in a more meaningful way. It is really quite embarrassing to admit this but I am really glued to the computer for hours and hours a day. Homework was completed with less frustration and no raised voices... bedtime happened with less bother.... I felt better about myself to be honest. I did experience some anxiety about an hour or two before 8 p.m. but I think that was more due to worries about the writing process for my project than withdrawal from Web 2.0.

Over the next month, I am planning on giving updates... on my writing progress... on the dynamic at home... anything related to this bid at reclaiming space in my life. I'll see you around the 'verse... before 10 a.m. and after 8 p.m., Monday through Friday!


Allysha said...

I really think this is great. I actually sent that article to my husband after you tweeted about it and he got the app (he uses a Mac).

Anyway, I'm always proud of people who do stuff like this. I need to limit my internet time, too. Just so that I can be more present for my family. And get my laundry done!

Good luck writing your Masters Thesis.

Anonymous said...

Wow, way to go!!! Hubby and I have NetNanny which allows you to set time parameters on internet usage. It helps when the easiest thing to do is get carried on the tidal wave of distraction on the web. :)

Hey, you've been on my mind because I just recently came to own a large book, The ULTIMATE Hitchhiker's Guide. :D
So now I am fully enjoying the whole story (not just from the movie)!

Terri B. said...

I've been feeling the need of this and have definitely been limiting myself. But I need to limit in a more intentional manner. Instead I just kinda disappear from Web 2.0 for periods of time. I need to find a sane way to participate with limits.

Anonymous said...

Good for you! I look forward to hearing how it's going.

Quadelle said...

I'm looking forward to updates, too. Plus, I suspect I'll be installing the program myself once NaBloPoMo is over.

slouchy said...

I am intrigued enough to try this for myself.

Karen said...

Excellent - very good luck with the Master's & the rest is just pure genius. Thank you for linking Freedom. I have been using it ever since. I can set the timer & go write. I am actually doing NaNoWriMo, which is an act of insanity and also sanity saving.
Matt hates FREEDOM, because he wants the freedom to go on the net whenever he wants, but since he works 4 days a week at the office, I can use it those 4 work days while he is out w/o impacting is iTunes addiction.

Mel said...

Wow. Amazing how we don't really notice the impact, huh?

I do hope this works for you--or at the very least buys you some time in the week to do different/study different/write different/play different.

Don't forget the PLAY different! Kinda important when you're plugging away at that paper, yaknow.

*HUGE hugs*