It’s easy enough to get distracted when you’re writing—especially if you use a computer with access to the Internet. You are in the throes of composition and decide to check on a fact. Before you know it, half an hour has gone by and you’ve responded to a few emails, visited Facebook, and somehow instead of unpacking a particularly overstuffed argument you’ve discovered a delightful video of goats jumping on a trampoline. We’ve all done it: even those of us who claim an iron discipline in every other aspect of our lives are at the whim of the ever-increasing technological excuses for not knuckling down to writing.
Enter Freedom. For only a few bucks, Mac users can switch off our Internet connection for as short a period as 15 minutes and as long a time as eight hours (480 minutes). Simple to download and use, Freedom has clearly been designed with writers in mind, since it understands the ways we get around sitting in front of the keyboard and concentrating. For instance, let’s say you cut off access for 30 minutes, and after 15 minutes close the lid of your laptop and head off for a coffee. Well, when you come back, sneakily hoping that you’ll be able to log on, your computer will still assume you’ve got a quarter of an hour to run. You don’t escape that easily!
It also recognizes that we writers are generally technically unsavvy. So, although I’m sure a computer boffin could find his way around Freedom, I can’t find any password override, uninstall command, or reboot fix for Freedom’s rigorous commitment to ensuring that we don’t distract ourselves on its watch. I commend it to you and hope that, as soon as you finish reading this blog (and looking at the goats on their trampoline), you’ll switch it on and start writing.