Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Experiment

It was gratifying to discover that I have the ability to stay away from the internet for a whole week. (There's a point to this; I'll stop bigging-myself-up in a sec.) I'll be honest: it was really really really really hard. I gave up meat for 10 years but a week without Facebook was tougher.

The soaring word count helped (10k in total), as did the fact that I used my friend Sam as a replacement for Wikipedia. Of course the downside is that I now know precisely how much time I waste each week on the Net, and should probably give it up for good. Or maybe Monday - Friday, like my wheat ban. God, what is it with me and bans? Could be a throwback to my Catholic upbringing: confession, mini-Lent, absolution.

But it's over. If I do it again it won't be for a little while. Think how many wedding photos of people I don't really know I'd miss! And all the blank spaces in my manuscript where I had to write "Google this". Giving up for good is not an option. So I've started to make a list of other things I could give up in order to create more time for writing.

1. Housework. Obviously. Maybe houses eventually become self-cleaning, like hair. Has anyone tried?
2. Showering...not only would this give me approx. an hour a week, it would also act as a social barrier, giving me more time to myself.
3. Cooking. We could live on KFC "mashies". I bet the Great Writers of Yore would have made such a sacrifice for their Art.
4. Social Life. I've put this at the bottom because in reality this would only free up an average of five minutes per week.

Don't even think about suggesting "the telly" - there's a new series of House for pity's sake! My writing isn't that important...

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simmone said...

i am inspired. am going to hole up in a beach house somewhere for a week and try not to chew my hands off.

RKCharron said...

Hi Emily :)
Thanks for the fun post.
10k is a great word count!
All the best,

Tam said...

And you'd miss my magic writing dust, which clearly isn't acceptable. Still, well done on the new words.

There was a boy at school who tried not washing his hair. Mostly, he looked greasy and a bit dirty. I gave up housework years ago and my house has a similar air. Luckily, I have now developed selective blindness.

Keris said...

I too have given up housework and, no, the house doesn't become self-cleaning but after a while it doesn't get any worse. Probably.

Sapph said...

Our internet connection was buggered for a whole weekend, and I was absolutely astounded by how much writing I got done. It's a shocker.

I'm glad you're back, though. Cos while you were off, I found out that I'm having a baby girl. :)

Emily Gale said...

Hi there you lot! Thanks for commenting.

Simmone - the beach house idea sounds ideal...having the internet right there in front of you makes it much more difficult to resist of course...just make sure the beach house doesn't have blimmin' WiFi.

Sapph - woo!! Lovely news.

Now, you folk claiming to have given up housework - you have inspired my next ban. Week after next will see the start of a new Experiment...

CarolineG said...

I am in awe of you for achieving this, Emily...!

Geraldine Ryan said...

Missed you, Emily! Don't do this again in a long while!

Debs Riccio said...

Well done, Em - you are an inspiration x

Emily Gale said...

Thanks you lot! I've been a bad blogger since The Experiment, I'm afraid, because I've been salivating all over Twitter and Facebook and Google like a crazed junkie.