Earlier today I set out from my house and drove to a coffee shop, “determined to write.”
Unfortunately, my local coffee shop of choice offers free Wi-fi. Before I knew what was happening, I had spent two hours answering personal and work emails (I’m a freelance writer and, to make ends meet, I do a lot of marketing writing for clients in other states). Every time I answered one email, another beeped in before I could log off the email screen. When I finally escaped from email purgatory, I couldn’t resist my curiosity about the day’s national and international news headlines. Enter CNN.com. Then, well, it would only take a few minutes to check in on a few writing blogs, right? Or just to briefly (I have to admit it) glance at Facebook?
I had arrived at the coffee shop a little after nine, and suddenly the clock was closing in on noon. That was it — I had to do some creative writing. I downloaded the latest version of an essay I’m working on and managed to revise the first paragraph. Then an email beeped in and I just couldn’t resist….
Frustrated, I logged into this blog. I wrote a rather literary description of my surroundings in the coffee shop and then admitted that my Internet…well, let’s go out on a limb and call it addiction…had prevented me from doing much writing. As I clicked the “publish” button to upload the post, I noticed something odd. The coffee shop’s Free Wi-fi had been shut off. Apparently they have a new policy; once the clock strikes twelve, they limit your Internet access to thirty minutes. That’s it; you can’t get back in until after their “peak hours” end, after two.
A little stunned, I turned back to my essay, the only thing left to address on my laptop. And oddly enough, I managed to revise and re-write four decent pages.
Am I the only writer who needs to learn to log off?
I confess I actually contacted the coffee shop this morning and told them to shut off the internet access if they see you.
Ah, so it was you!