I double-dog dare you

Let’s see how short I can make this post….

I double-dog dare you to step away from the Internet for the month of February.

Don’t blog.

Don’t read blogs.

Loose track of the shenanigans of celebrities and politicians.

Do not update your status, your mood. Let your Farmville fall apart and your Cafe close.

Why do I suggest this?

Because so many of you are struggling to find time to write, or paint, or read, or do the other creative things that make you happy.

Did you participate in NaNoWriMo? Consider this NoNoBlog-o (thanks for that title, Harold). Blog-Free February. BFF.

Does going cold turkey sound impossible? Then try this: for every 20 minutes you write each day, you can spend 1 minute reading or writing blogs. ONE MINUTE. (That ratio was suggested by several editors I consulted, btw.)

If you are strong, you can use the Internet for research and critical email. But nothing else.

I can’t go cold turkey. But I am going to cut back on blogging and social networking dramatically, and try to keep all entries (except for this one) shorter than 140 characters.)

We’ll meet back here on March 1st to compare notes about how productive we were.

Go! Shoo! Scribble!

PS – I think you can do this. Really.

24 Replies to “I double-dog dare you”

  1. That’s an amazing proposal, I’m totally doing it. I’ve been wanting to do this for myself for a while, having an actual challenge behind it makes it so much more real.

    (Watch, two days from now- “Blog post for 2/3/10. ‘I’m on my third day of Blog-Free February, it’s going wel- OH. OH WAIT. @#$%'”)

    Thank you! See you in a month.

  2. OUCH!! This one just might hurt. =( However, I have enough life commitments this month to keep me distracted, BFF might just be what I need.So, I’m in….right after I post that I’m in. =)

    I might have to cheat and have hubby change my passwords and not tell me what they are until March!

  3. This is a great idea! I’m building up a following and blog presence so going cold turkey would probably not be wise for me, BUT I do spend too much time playing Bejeweled Blitz and the like. So letting myself go online one minute for every 20 minutes I write (to do things not related to writing) is a good game plan.

  4. Okay, I’m in, though I know I can’t go cold turkey. I’m going to ask my fellow admins at Verla’s to cover for me, with the caveat that if they have an emergency, I’ll come back. I’m going to download this timer thing I know about that cuts off your internet for certain amounts of time and during those times I will be writing. I’ll allow myself email and Facebook before the kids get up for school and while I eat lunch. I will not blog or comment on blogs.

    If Sheri () and you can do it, I can do it.

  5. I’m giving up my personal blog for the month but keeping my other sites active (until Lent begins, I’m giving up Twitter for Lent). This way if I want to talk about my life I’m going to have to write in my journal that I’ve had sitting in a desk drawer collecting dust. Maybe I’ll actually get my graduate school applications out on time if I’m staying away from additional distractions!

  6. I am going to think about how I can incorporate BFF into my life… I need this, for sure. I have deadlines & a lot going on in Real Life on top of that.

    Thank you for the suggestion and support. I may not go cold turkey but I’m going to figure out how I will do this and then post my final(ish) entry for Feb. πŸ™‚

  7. Alphasmarts can help…

    Great dare, Laurie πŸ™‚ I find that having an Alphasmart (regular, Dana, NEO, it doesn’t matter, so long as it does not have the internet access on it) really does help the writing. I can go to a cafe, lunch deli with private tables, etc. and write without the distractions.

    Good idea – will look forward to March 1 πŸ™‚

    Elaine

  8. I’m on it….

    No games. No twitter. No games. No facebook except to check on the kids. No games. Email for the paper and important connections. No games. Deep breath. Here we go.

  9. Blog Free?

    Freak out time. Not from social networking, not from e-mailing (although essential e-mails will have to be tended to), but from coasting around looking at other folks’ blogs, reading other folks’ thoughts, instead of working on getting down my own.

    Thanks for the challenge…must be in the air. I talked with my college freshman daughter this morning and she deleted her facebook yesterday, which I would have thought wwould be like chopping off a limb for her.

    So, I accept your challenge. I will only do essential e-mail. I will only post on my own blog no more than 2 times for the month (and that’s only because I have a book coming out and have (finally) begun to get a small following, and I actually use my blog to write tiny little mini-essays. No more blog surfing, no more zipping around reading about the books others have written. Only me and my own words–a pretty scary place. Thank God February is a short month!

    Thanks…thanks.

  10. Ooh, I want to try!!

    I’m in the middle of switching jobs and moving between cities though, so giving up internet entirely might be tough. Maybe I can give up recreational internet–blogs, FB, etc–and only do essential email and relocation related internet stuff.

  11. Whoa!

    Great challenge! I also have been needing to reduce my blog reading time. I’ve amassed a number of blog subscriptions in my reader (I even added the blog of someone who commented on this post!) that are fantastic, but I spend a lot of time reading. I don’t know if I can go without reading for the whole month, but I am going to try the 20 minutes writing for one minute of reading. Now I just have to figure out which blog will get the scrimped time!

  12. Great idea. (I’d say more, but my minute is up.)

    Mary Lee Settle: I kept disappearing, by necessity. I knew I would never get the work finished if I tried to live in what Yeats called β€œthe public bog.”

  13. Blog

    I don’t usually blog that much so this is kind of easy. I like one of your books called Speak because it relates to teens. I will try reading more of your books.

  14. Wow! I cannot believe how intimidating this challenge is. But considering what a busy month I have ahead, including beginning a writing workshop, I think it’s a fantastic idea. For every 20 minutes I spend writing, I can spend one online.

    Wow.

    Okay.

    Here goes.

    See you in March!

  15. I didn’t go cold turkey at all, but totally stepped away from my blog reading for Dec ’09 and Jan ’10. Since I’m participating in GrapeMo 2010, I think I *will* participate in this year’s BFF as I use the internet to procrastinate and allow it to become a *GIGANTIMOUS* time-suck. Not sure how I’ll do… *bites nails*

  16. i would never download a book! i didn’t even know it was ossible up until a few minutes ago! i think it is completely unfair. the authors spend hours writing books for their fans to enjoy but if people steal the books then what’s the point? And okay it might get expensive sometimes but like LHA said, libraries do exist! and anyway half of the pleasure you get from reading a book comes from having the actual book and being able to hold this new world in your hands.

  17. But, but, but, but

    What will I do without your constant coaching and advice! What will I tell my students you are up to, if you aren’t posting? You can’t leave us all here to be on our own!!! WHAT WILL BECOME OF US WITHOUT YOUR TWEETS AND UPDATES?! (My text message cricket noise even trained my husband to ask what you are up to!!)

    I object. I might conduct a protest. I might not recommend your books to my students. (No, wait, that would be unjust as well.) This is inhumane! I really look forward to glimpsing what goes on in your writerly life and otherwise. Plus, I just blogged about how inadequate my blog is, because I don’t post on it every day. I might just do the opposite, and blog every day in February just to spite.

    So there!

  18. I love the idea of setting limits — one minute reading blogs for 20 minutes writing. I even use Mac Freedom at times to shut down Internet and just write. Like now!

  19. WHAT?!?!?

    okay…so you’re telling me you want us to cut back on Internet?!? That’s impossible! You know what…since you’re one of my favorite authors EVER I’ll try. πŸ˜€

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