For a few months now — heck, for maybe a year or two — I’ve been feeling a little bit oppressed by my internet connection. Yes, it’s the way I make my living, and yes, it’s a weird and wonderful world in many ways, one that has connected me to a lot of great people. But it’s also basically a constant in my waking life. I live alone and I work from home and I don’t have a television, so a frightening percentage of my day — generally including meals and whatever down time I’ve allowed myself — takes place in front of my laptop.
I work on the internet. I do most of my recreational reading on the internet. I watch TV and movies on the internet. I look up recipes on the internet, I pay my bills on the internet. I do much of my communicating with friends and family, again, on the internet.
It’s time for a break.
So, starting tomorrow, and inspired in part by my friend Frank Bures, who instituted internet-free Mondays for himself last year, I will be going offline on Wednesdays. Not entirely, of course — at least, not right at first. I’ll allow myself a first-thing-in-the-morning and a mid-afternoon email check, on the off chance that an editor has dropped a fabulous assignment in my lap, conditional on a rapid reply. (Hey, it could happen.) But beyond that, I’ll be unplugging for the day.
Wednesdays will still be work days. I’ll read (actual books and magazines!) and write (yes, still on my laptop) and maybe head up to the archives if I’ve got any research on the go. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Wednesday turns out to be my most productive day of the week. I’m looking forward to it.