Faye Rapoport DesPres

The Internet Conundrum

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?


2 thoughts on “The Internet Conundrum

  1. Rachel

    I confess I actually contacted the coffee shop this morning and told them to shut off the internet access if they see you.