Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The "Freedom" of My Chains with Carolyne Aarsen

So whenever I see the word speedbo I’m thinking…..speedo….and then my usually overactive imagination transports me to Europe and I think of blithely unselfconscious, overweight men wearing these things. What probably amazed me more than the actual wearing, was the attitude of these men. This is me. Love or leave it. I don’t care. You gotta admire than kind of confidence – the freedom to be whoever they want wear whatever they want wherever they want.

Freedom is something our joint countries were founded on. Freedom of expression, freedom of association and, well, the freedom to wear speedo’s I guess.

As a child, whenever I thought of Freedom, though, it wasn’t Speedo’s that came to mind. To me Freedom meant being completely unfettered. Freedom meant space and openness and the option to make any choice I want. Going to bed when I wanted, eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and doing what I wanted. No restrictions. No rules.

However as I got older I started to realize that true freedom is really about chains. About discipline. I remember reading an interview with a famous pianist who talked about the hours of practice and the discipline it took to become a world-class pianist. Scales and repetitive playing and hours and hours of practice. Doesn’t sound very free, does it? But….but….the practice, the constant repetitive work, the steady practice laid a groundwork which created freedom. The freedom to play simple and complicated pieces of work. The freedom to sit at the piano and let the music pour forth.

Discipline creates freedom.
I have to remind myself of the same thing when I’m writing. I struggle against discipline. The day to day battle to get the words down on the page. To stay focused on the work. These days there are so many distractions for writers that I didn’t have to deal with when I first started writing and all that was available for me was the snail-slow speed of dial up internet. Not only has the internet connection gotten faster the stuff available has increased exponentially. These days I can start checking out the best leather for saddle making remember that I have to transfer some money from my bank account to my credit card and end up watching a video of a baby teaching a dance class all the while thinking as soon as this is over I simply MUST find out why a judge on The View is crying……and then it’s lunch time.

Don’t judge me. I know you’ve done it too.

This is what freedom can look like but we know that it’s not the kind of freedom we writers want to indulge in. We want the freedom to tell our story, to bring our hero and heroine through their character arc, to get to that first kiss, to bring them to the happy ending. The freedom to write. And in this month of Speedbo, we are trying to stick to the goals we have set.

Instead, the siren call of the internet gives us the freedom to take tests to find out what kind of color I really am and what my Hippy name is with a few breaks to beat our friend’s high score in Bejewelled.

As writers we are easily distracted. I claim it’s because our minds are always roaming back and forth seeking ideas, other ways to say what we are saying, juggling story lines of other books we want to write and scenes that are coming up and how we should get there. These are hard enough to deal with. The internet adds an extra lure and creates a huge time-suck that we all know about all too well.

Trouble is, we also need it to stay in touch and do research. Both important tasks. But if we are truly honest with ourselves we spend inordinate amounts of time that don’t fall under either of those categories. Nor is it vital that we answer every e-mail that comes our way or check out that website on the best way to paint your living room.

What to do? What to do about this pernicious time suck? I know there are a lot of programs out there that can block the internet. I used one called Concentrate but you had to specify which programs you wanted blocked and which internet sites and type them all in and I don’t have time for that because I get bored and feel a sudden need to watch a monkey video. I needed something simple. Quick and Easy.

Enter Freedom. Freedom is a nifty difty little program that runs on Macs and PC’s. It costs all of $10.00 and it gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

It is simplicity itself. After installation, you get it started, tell the program how long you want it running for – I usually go for 120 minutes which is two hours – and hit ok and that’s it. Your internet is off for however long you’ve got it going for.

And the best part?

Good luck in changing your mind! You can’t just turn it off. In order to do that you need to close your programs and re-start your computer. You are stuck in an Internet-free zone until the time runs out!

You are now forced to write! Sucker.

Which is exactly what I need. Normally I start writing I get a bit stuck and even though I know this program is running and without conscious thought and my mouse drifts over to my sidebar all on it’s own where I have all my programs and my internet icon and I hit it and nothing happens and, face palm…..right….no internet….and with a sigh, back to work I go.

Calling it Freedom is perfect. It pushes everything aside. Narrows your focus. Creates a situation of self-discipline where, if we are honest, the true freedom to write lies. It chains you to your word processing program and with that discipline……you are truly free. Nothing is pulling at you, dragging at you, distracting you, making you think there are more important or fun things to do. Because, like those moments of exercise that we force ourselves to do, we know we are happier when we are disciplined.

This little program has more than doubled my productivity. And like Pavlov’s dog, once it’s running my mind is conditioned to focus on the writing because there is nothing else to do. It’s work time, not internet time. It is one of my go-to programs and is always available in my dock. See. Right there below iTunes and above iPhoto.

You can still access your other programs, just not any that require an internet connection. It can be shut off but like I said, to do that you have to close it and do a full restart of your computer and if you’re that dedicated to move onto wasting time, there’s not much any computer program can do for you, quite frankly.

But for those of you dedicated Speedbo’ers, this could be just the thing you need to stay on task and help you achieve your target. It could be the best $10.00 you’ve spent.

I know we’d like to think we can have enough self-discipline to avoid the lure of the internet and maybe you can. Good for you. I am full of admiration and envy.

But for the rest of us mere mortals, we need that extra discipline.

We need the Freedom of our chains.

Good luck in achieving your goals this month and try to get the vision of that chubby European man in his Speedo out of your brain.

(If you want to know where to get this amazing little program that runs on Mac and PC check out the link below.

Ruthy here! Yikes I forgot to add this last night, but our dear, talented buddy is giving away  THREE SETS of Carolyne's newest books "Her Cowboy Hero" 

and "Reunited With the Cowboy", books 1 and 2 of her "Refuge Ranch" series!

Leave a comment inside to have your name thrown into the newly-purchased, fancy-schmancy cat dish!


Marianne Barkman said...

I'm not sure what you did to my internet, Carolyne, but i had to change from Safari to Google to post my message. Freedom to change...and there's NO LIMITS to that!
I love your books, so am glad you are doing SpeedBo!

Helen Gray said...

Retirement has meant freedom to me. No more bells!

Love it!

Thanks for the insights.

Coffee's brewing.

Cindy W. said...

Great post Carolyne. I don't spend a lot of time on the internet, but sometimes I don't need to spend the time I do.

Have a blessed day everyone and GO SPEEDBO!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Kara Isaac said...

Total genius! I'd heard of programmes like this but never gotten around to find the right one for me. Thanks for the recommendation!

Tina Radcliffe said...

130 Speedbo participants as of this am.


Remember that you are invited to brag or moan and groan with us right here on the blog.

Daily commenters get their names in the hat for a weekly $25 Amazon gift card or a one chapter critique. Let us know you want it!

Cheerleader readers get their names in the hat for a box of books.

All the info you need is under the Speedbo tab above.


You gotta comment to win.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome, Carolyne!!! What a fabulous program!!

I am so going to get it.

Easily distracted??? You got that!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Good morning, Carolyne!!! So happy to have you here (and Carolyne's out west, so she might be later than our East Coast buds!)

And she's giving away THREE SETS of books from her Refuge Ranch series...

Carolyne, I love this advice. I know so many folks who can't resist that 'cruise the net' button, that this is would be a wonderful asset to their writing arsenal!

Yay, you! And I love your production ratios! How many books do you have coming out this year? Go you!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Now THOSE are covers a girl can fall in love with. GORGEOUS.

What part of the world has cowboys like that??

Packing my bags.

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Carolyne! The hunky heroes on your covers have replaced that image of the Speedbo wearing man. Love the idea of freedom of my chains. The program is a nifty way to stay off the Internet. So does Freedom keep email from coming in?


Tina Radcliffe said...

HAHAHA that Speedo wearing man has seared my eyes.

Jackie said...

Hi Carolyn,

What a great post! I'll leave my WIP a minute to look up something and get distracted. Then I forget why I left in the first place, so I go back to WIP see what the problem was and get more disciplined as I wade back out there. 2nd time I usually do better.

When I'm on a roll, I use ** where I'm stuck and keep going. I wonder how many ** I'll have to address on March 1? Might be why they call it April Fool's Day.

Jackie said...

How's Speedbo going for everybody? I wrote 1021 words yesterday. If it weren't for Speedbo, I wouldn't have done that much. When I saw how close I was to 1000, I had to keep going.

#NOLIMITS Thanks Seekerville!

Unknown said...

Morning, Pam Jernigan here... great article! That sounds like a really useful program, although I'll be honest, I'm quite capable of sitting there playing solitaire for an hour if I'm blocked, so I might need more help :)

Wrote 835 words yesterday, which is not as much as I wanted, but more than I thought I'd be able to, because I was seriously clueless on what to have my characters do next. They've got some time to kill before the next plot disaster shows up :)

Enter me in drawings, please, and I'd love a one chapter critique.

Happy Speedbo-ing!

Kelly Bridgewater said...

Thanks for the tip! I should invest in something like that. When I pause in writing, I pick up my note 3 and check Facebook and other apps. Need to remove the temptation! Need to keep writing!

Mary Hicks said...

Good post, Carolyne. Thanks for the link.:-)

That little gadget sounds like a nifty idea. Im with Janet, wondering about email . . .?

I don't overdo internet, but my 'in-box' is a time draw. Mac dings me as well as flashing a notice of an incoming msg. I turn the sound down so I don't hear those alerts.
And when I'm in the throes of writing, flashing alerts don't always register.

It takes a firetruck turning into my drive . . .

Now I need something that locks all the covers on my books and unlocks only when I reach a certain word count.

I was gone from early to late yesterday, only managed 500 words.

Debby Giusti said...


Loved your mention of discipline bringing freedom. YES!

I'm swamped--seemingly--with the business side of the writing life that takes too much time! Not sure how to handle all the little things that need to be done each day. I'm trying to be Ruthy and am getting up earlier, but I still often can't capture blocks of time to write...unless everything else is done. Usually, it's the afternoon before I can get to my WIP.

My kitchen timer is my FREEDOM program. I set it for 30 minutes and type. The tick-tick-tick helps spur me on. Plus I use my AlphaSmart, which doesn't have wifi capability.

Still I should be more productive.

Rhonda Starnes said...

Thanks for the excellent post, Carolyne. I'll admit when I'm not carefully protecting my writing time, I'm one that gets sucked into Internet black holes, especially Facebook and twitter.

Like, Debby, I had a kitchen timer that I used for a while. The ticking sound reminded me it was time to get down to business. I guess it's time to dig it out again and dust it off.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Marianne, she's DANGEROUS...'sall I'm sayin'!!!!

And Helen, oh my stars, you are workin' the time God's given you. I'm so stinkin' proud of you!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kara, it is genius, isn't it???? I mean I laugh that grown-ups have to police themselves, but this is no different than my mini-reward systems. Whatever it takes to get the job done!

Kudos to Freedom!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Tina, I'm in... Let's find out where these cowboys are....

Oh, wait.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jackie, I love what you said. Using the ***s to mark things. I use question marks and then I jot a note at the end of the manuscript so I don't waste time. I can look things up at night when I'm tired, but I can't write effectively then, so it's good that we know ourselves! Do what works... but keep working!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Ruthy Speedbo check in, day 3: I've edited 180 pages of September release. My goal is to have this done by Sunday and greet Monday back to Washington cowboys... that look a lot like Carolyne's of course!!!... :) But first I want to nail these edits and polish this book. My reward will be wearing Resistols and chaps. :)

Sally Shupe said...

Distractions. They are all around me. I sit down to write, the dogs want to go out, the cats need fed, the rabbit needs a carrot, and then husband and kids want to eat, and the house cries out for a broom and the dishes to be washed. I wait till they all settle down, and then I want to sleep. I should have hired a maid for this month lol. Speedbo update: wrote 1350 yesterday (500 of that at lunch), plus the 2095 the day before, for a total of 3445. Please put my name in for the Amazon card or critique. After this month, I will need all the help I can get! Oh, and I forgot the snow. When it snows, I have to go build a snowman.

Lyndee H said...

Oh, Carolyne! What a fun gadget! I get lost in Youtube tracking music videos from my youth under the guise of selecting writing background music. Before I know it, I'm one article short of expert status on the lives of my fav musicians. Not good. Going to download my internet blocker now! Thanks for the tip!

DebH said...

wow. timely post. especially since I seem to have that pesky 'net problem. Remember Dug from the Pixar movie UP? I think I'm moving along with my task and then... SQUIRREL!!!
I usually disconnect my Wi-Fi on my laptop and because pulling out the physical connection is too much work I can get going. It's when I DON'T disconnect that I get in trouble. Well, that and the five year old wanting mommy time.

I'm thinking I need a ticking timer. I believe the five year old would enjoy making sure mommy stays on task while it ticks until it dings. He likes it when he can "help" mommy get her work done. Plus it's something literal he can see and grasp for when it can once again be okay to jump on momma for hugs. (As Gru from Despicable Me would say - "Liiiight bulllllb...")

Awesome post. Please put my name into the brand-spanking new cat dish please.

Speedbo progress: um... SQUIRREL! nothing on screen. lots in brain waiting to get out. SQUIRREL! *sigh*

Eileen said...

Do we know each other? Have we met at some internet site looking for a distraction? My problem is I need the internet for because I have not upgraded my wordprocessor (don't have the time to learn a new one) and for research. How do you overcome that with this tempting little 'freedom'?

Dana McNeely said...

It's true. I get on the internet for one thing and an hour later, I realize I haven't done that one thing.

Turning off the internet now and writing. Thanks for the thought of the day. Freedom=no internet. :)

Becky Dempsey said...

I finally have finished the end of my book so I can get going on my Speedbo goal of filling in the middle. Carolyne, the men in Brazil were the same way with the overweight men wearing Speedo's too!

Becky Dempsey said...

Oh, I forgot to mention, I'd love to win the gift card ;)

Carolyne Aarsen said...

So it's morning out here at Our Place and I slept in and as my healthy and hearty porridge is brewing and water is boiling for tea I'll be stopping in to say hi and thanks! Marina, glad you could post! Just goes to show how much time the internet can take as you try to figure out even which browser to use.
Helen, I remember my mom brewing coffee - always at 11:00. I wished I drank it because is always smelled so good. But I'll toast your retirement with my tea.
Good for you Cindy - admire your self-discipline.
Kara, I hope the program works for you. be warned, like I said, once you start it, you can't get out unless you restart! At least that's been my experience.
Tina, we are writers. Distraction and glazed eyes and staring out of windows while people talk is the name of the game. And I hear you on the cowboys! Wait until you see the guy they used for book 3! I want a poster of that guy on my wall.
And Ruth, yes I'm here. Slept in a bit too - rotten cold courtesy of blessed grandchildren.

Carolyne Aarsen said...

Hey Janet, good to see you again. Glad that Tanner and John are stuck in your brain now!!
Jackie I use ** when I'm off the internet. I remember Stephen King talking about research and how it can slow you down and be an excuse not to write. He said just put in (name) or ** like you do and that can ALL be fixed later. Just get it done!
Hey Pam, I hear you on the Solitaire. I ended up with muscle spasms playing that stupid game. Took it off the computer finally.
Kelly - the trouble with the internet is how the distraction pulls you out of the writing. I was working on my story, had my heroine give my hero a letter, he stuck it in his pocket and then....Freedom turned off and.....when I came back, I couldn't remember what the letter was about.
Mary - it shuts off e-mail as well. Anything that needs an internet connection to work. E-mail is a bad distraction too. Another way to 'feel like' you're writing but not really.

Carolyne Aarsen said...

Debby - talking about the business side of writing - I've found that if I devote a certain amount of time in the morning to that stuff and do what I can and then, write from a certain time on - that helps. Eating the frog someone called it. Then on comes freedom and when it's off, catch up on some of the other things.
Rhonda - writing time needs to be guarded with chains! We are not taking care of ourselves if we don't. And though it's not always the 'fun' we thought it would be like Sherri referred to yesterday, the reward comes when we get the work done.
Dangerous? Ruthie? How can you say that? I'm perfectly harmless - well, unless you want to talk to the ghost of the bear that was on my porch trashing my garbage cans and trying to get into my house.......another story for another day and less tender feelings.

Meghan Carver said...

Speedo's??? ACK! Quick, show me a cute kitty video....

I'm not quite where I want to be with my Speedbo goal, but I'm still building momentum. Getting back into the story and all that. It'll come.

Carolyne Aarsen said...

Sally - distractions are the bread and meat of writers. Like I said to Tina, it's how we gather stories. But there is a time and place for everything and even though I turn on Freedom I still catch myself standing at the pantry looking for.....not inspiration, I can tell you that much. good for you and the Speedbo output though! Feels good, doesn't it?
Lyndee - I hear you on You Tube and they have it cleverly set up so that when you watch the iPad magician, you suddenly NEED to watch Justin Bieber get pranked.

Carolyne Aarsen said...

Deb - so glad you enjoyed the recommendation. Trust me it has saved my bacon many times! I used to use a timer but the ticking sound made me nervous if I was sitting, arms folded, frowning at the screen. I felt like I wasn't doing anything. So I love Freedom.
Eileen - I think writers are all distractable. As for the Thesaurus - just use a word you think will work, use ** like Jackie does and move on. Same with research. Get the story down. Then, when your time is up, go back and set a certain amount of time for your research. But for me, my Thesaurus is built into my word processor so, sorry.

Carolyne Aarsen said...

Hey Becky, good for you to get to the end. Sometimes when you get there you know better what you need for the middle.

Jill Weatherholt said...

Wonderful post, Carolyne. It seems the older I get, the more distracted I become. I'll blame it on hormones. :)
Probably my biggest distraction is things to do around the house. I can have a block of time to write during the weekend, but I'll keep popping up to dust this and clean that.
I'm not a picky winner, either prize would be great. :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Bear on porch... I forgot that!

Oh, shotgun time, now folks will hate me for admitting that, but Dave and I made a pact... If one of our resident bears decides to mosey onto the porch, I might have to Annie Oakley it.


What are bears thinking? Stay away from humans, you sillies!!!

Carolyne Aarsen said...

Hey Jill, I know what you're saying abut the household distractions. My husband had learned to live with the fact that it might take a week before the laundry gets done and folded. I think writing discipline takes steps to shed the distractions.
And Ruth - it wasn't a shotgun.....just saying....

Pam Hillman said...

That's kinda cool. I might have to get that program. All help to stay on task is appreciated.

Sometimes just moving from one chair to another helps. During a recent deadline, I switched to a recliner that I never use. It's identical in comfy-ness to my love-seat recliner, but it's in the couch.

Just that little switch-er-roo conditioned my brain that I had to write while I was OVER THERE.

Whatever it take, friends. Whatever it takes.

Pam Hillman said...

Freedom to change...and there's NO LIMITS to that!

Good one, Marianne!

Pam Hillman said...

We can be thankful there were no real speedo pictures in today's blog post. Just thinking about it is bad enough, but seeing pictures.


Thank you, Ruthy and Carolyne for being so considerate. lol

Pam Hillman said...

Mary H, when I'm writing or editing, I close my mail program for that very reason.

Carolyne Aarsen said...

Pam, when I'm outlining or playing around with the story I take my laptop and sit in a chair in the living room away from the office. Being in a different place seems to bring out different ways of thinking. You know, Ruth? I think we should have put a speedo pic in the post........

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I wonder how many of us have an office...

and write in a recliner or a porch swing, LOL!

Mary Hicks said...

Pam, I guess that's what I'll have to do—shut it down.:-)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Wait, I read Speedbo and you said Speedo and those images are just SO ROUGH....

Except during Summer Olympic years.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Do we have a program for husbands? A shut-off switch?

I'm asking for a friend.

Missy Tippens said...

Carolyne, thanks for the great recommendation! I have a terrible habit of hitting Safari as soon as I open my computer. This could probably help with that!!

We're so glad you joined us today. But NO THANKS on the vision of the man in a Speedo! LOL

Sandy Smith said...

I am probably the queen of time wasters, especially on the internet and I'm sure my hubby would attest to that. But doing Speedbo has helped a lot because I don't have a lot of free time and when I do I know I have to write in order to get my word count in for the day.

Please toss my name in the cat dish!

kaybee said...

Hi Carolyne,
Isn't this the model for Christianity itself? So many people, including yours truly Before, think that giving up their will to Christ will constrict them. In reality, it's exactly the opposite. We are free: from our bad habits, from our destructive relationships, from our fears, from our murky pasts. And free to forgive, a staple in so much Christian fiction including my own. I came up through the hippie culture of the late 60s and early 70s and I can tell you, That.Wasn't.Freedom. How could we save the world when we couldn't even save ourselves? We couldn't. This is a good post.
Kathy Bailey

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Carolyne!

I love those cowboys. They look like the ones we have here in western South Dakota. :)

Thanks for the great post! It started me thinking that I need a shut off switch for my family, LOL!

Or an office with a door.

But once they all head off to work and the dogs settle in for their daily snooze, the house is quiet and I can work.

But then come the self-inflicted distractions. Facebook is the worst. I'll have to try this program!

I am totally with you on the concept of freedom, though! Elisabeth Elliott wrote a book called "Discipline: The Glad Surrender." It really helped me realize the folly of freedom and the value of choosing whose discipline to submit yourself to.

Now to apply that lesson. Again. Sigh.

kaybee said...

I don't watch videos of cats or spend a lot of time on Facebook, so much of it is nonsense. When I do get sucked into it, scrolling through days' worth of posts, it usually means I'm past tired and don't want to do anything else. I do have to rein myself in from writer's blogs, sigh. Right now I'm supposed to be working at my day job. WHY ARE YOU ALL SO INTERESTING.

Keli Gwyn said...

The Internet and I are good friends. Our daughter has been living and working in Europe the past two years, so Facebook IMs and Skype calls are my only contact with her. I wish I could disable my connection, but then I wouldn't be available to our gal. I'm stuck having to rely on self-discipline. Sadly, I'm easily distracted.

Ooh! What's that? A cute kitten video in my FB newsfeed? See ya!

kaybee said...

I did about 500 words yesterday, the scene where the Federal agent asks Julia to help him nail her former pimp and the father of the child she's looking for and she looks at him and says, "Are you nuts?" TMI, but that's what I did. I would love to win either a critique or a book by Carolyne, it's all good.
Going back to day job, check in later.

Jeanne T said...

Wow, this program sounds like it's just what I need. I am self-discplined....but not enough to avoid the lure of those email banners that flash on my screen. :)

I think I'm going to buy this program. Like today. :)

cathyann40 said...

I enjoyed reading this post.

Carolyne Aarsen said...

Hey Jan, looks like I'll have to visit South Dakota!! I loved your comment about the shut-off switch for family. This is where I feel I need to explain that my husband and I are empty nesters and that has made a huge difference for writing time! I'l have to check out that book by Elisabeth Elliot. Sounds good. Reality is we all need discipline and we crave it to a large extent. And Kaybee, I hear you on the writer's blogs. I'm constantly looking for inspiration and better ways to do what I'm doing.
And Jeanne, I just updated my Mac and for some reason can't stop those dumb e-mail banners from showing up even though I thought I disabled them. But yeah, the program is great. Like I said, best $10.00 I've spent in a long time and that's counting the Haagen Das I had in Paris with my sister!

Carolyne Aarsen said...

Cathy glad you could stop in. Thanks for your comment and I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

Myra Johnson said...

Excellent advice, CAROLYNE! Thanks so much for being our guest today! So many good points about the necessity of practice and self-discipline.

I admit I'm sometimes too easily distracted by email and Internet, but the mere thought of using this program to lock myself completely out of Internet access for designated periods of time just gives me the shivers! Honestly, I think it would make me insane, so I guess I'll have to rely on what self-discipline I can muster. :-/

Mary Connealy said...

You are now forced to write! Sucker.
Great post.

If this works for you...fantastic. There are always new tricks to the trade and you're clearly succeeding!


Ruth Logan Herne said...

I love that title "Discipline: That Glad Surrender".

That makes me happy.

Carolyne Aarsen said...

Myra, it gave me the shivers too at first. I remember the first few times I ran it I got nervous because I couldn't access the internet. But slowly I realized I wasn't missing much when I did it and now I love the way it helps me focus. It's like whenI turn it on part of my brain switches into "Time to Work Mode". It's great.
And Mary, yes, it does work for me. I think everyone has to figure out where their strengths and weaknesses are.

barb phinney said...

Wonderful thoughts about freedom! Thank you so much. I will have to look into that app. I'm pretty good about time on line, but there's always room for improvement.

Carolyne Aarsen said...

Though I have to say I don't have it running now.....having too much fun keeping up on the posts even though I'm trying to outline a new book!

Kav said...

Hmmm...freedom or diabolical? I haven't decided yet. My problem is that if I want distractions it isn't online I run to first -- it's books. Nothing like a few pages of pure inspiration to get the creative juices flowing, but a few pages can turn into a chapter and one chapter can become two and...well, they need to make an app that reaches out of the computer and physically closes the book for you...and then hides it for an hour or two. That might work...but I wouldn't buy it. Bwahahahahahaha!

Carolyne Aarsen said...

Kav, of course it's diabolical! Anything to do with the internet is. As for your book distraction - I've struggled with that one too. I think the reality is we writers are an undisciplined lot.....

Barb, it's only ten dollars. Enabling moment happening here!

Vince said...

Hi Carolyne:

One of the first Christian romances I ever read was "Any Man of Mine" from Steeple Hill. I just loved the idea of the heroine wanting a man who was not like her three brothers. My sister has three brothers and I kept thinking of her as I read it! (Some books just find the right reader.) So fun. I looked forward to your books ever after that one. So glad to see you here today.

I differ a little on your Freedom software. To me that is like wiring your jaws shut to loose weight! I believe a better approach is to sell yourself each day on your mission. Say the "Writer's Prayer", then contemplate your mission and vision statements. Visualize the good your book is going to do to those who read it.

Salesman: first sell yourself.

I have found that the power of distractions is inversely proportional to the strength of your belief in and desire to do what you are doing.

You gotta wanna.

And sometimes you gotta feed that 'wanna' or it will go to sleep to save energy.

I hope I have not given you a headache as I do so many others. : )


Please toss my brass nameplate into the fancy cat dish.

Cindy K. Green said...

Great post, Carolyne! At the moment I am doing lots of promo getting ready for a book release and yet I have another book that needs to be finished soon. I love the idea of locking off the internet for a certain amount of time. It may come to that!

Carolyne Aarsen said...

Hey Vince, thanks so much for your comment on Any Man of Mine. I had so much fun writing a book about a 'guy' who wasn't a 'man'. My husband is like that and I love him to bits. And I'm humbled that you enjoy reading my books. As for the Freedom software, I think we need to know our individual strengths and weaknesses and be realistic about them. I love writing and I love what I'm doing, but I also know there have been many times that I'm frustrated and at an impasse and that's when the internet can be so appealing. I do believe you are correct about desire and 'wanna'. All the programs in the world can't create desire or that burning need to tell a story.

Cindy, I find it frees me up from the distractions. I think our society gets stressed from the vast array of choices available to us and the internet gives us just that many more choices. Turning off the 'voices' has helped me a lot.

Jon and Vicki Marney said...

Great post--I really should consider that device, but I'm not sure I can 'let go of my internet'. I'm so addicted! I do enjoy the encouragement I get from Seekerville & Speedbo--gives me that extra push to set aside Internet/FB long enough to get more writing done. So far I haven't gotten any new words done, but making some good progress on editing/ reformatting my WIP (ended up losing a couple hundred words!) but I'm almost ready to start adding new words and getting it finished I currently have about 39.5k my goal is to be ready to hit publish on it before the end of Speedbo & return to another WIP...

Jamie Adams said...

Not able to sneak a peek at fb for two hours! I so need that but... at the same time what if miss a quiz that tells me which state I should have been born in???

Loved the post, thanks for sharing with us :) Now back to writing.

Janet Dean said...

Am I the only one who is tethered to a desktop? To use a laptop I add an additional keyboard. So much faster for me, but doesn't allow flexibility with where I write.


Carolyne Aarsen said...

Vicki, it's hard to let go because, like I said, there are so many choices. When I have a day off, I sometimes allow myself free internet time but so often, when I do, I think of all the other things I could have done instead that would have made me feel better. Congrats on getting to 39.5! That's quite an achievement and isn't it hard to let go of those words? But your manuscript will be better for it. And give Freedom a try. Even if it's only for an hour. You might get addicted to that too!

Carolyne Aarsen said...

Good for you Jamie! Way to exercise that self-discipline!

Janet, I see my office and my desktop as the place I do the bulk of my work. I don't do volume work on my laptop though I just bought a new one and am in love (insert hearts and smiley faces here). So light, so fast, so clear....(chorus of angels and violins). My laptop is for when I'm on the road or need to be in a different mental and physical space. I use it for brainstorming and outlining and working if I'm on the road.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I thought I'd hate a laptop.

My son Zach knew better.

Three laptops better, I can write wherever I land physically and mentally. I love this thing, and it's back-up friend across the room.

For once I listened to my kids. :)

DebH said...

most of your comments need to come with a spew alert. you're very funny.

almost as funny as the Connealy...

Connie Queen said...

This is perfect timing. I find the internet is suddenly my best friend when I know I need to write but can't get the words down.

Need to get 1k. Facebook. Twitter. Harlequin community. Seekerville. I check updates every 5 minutes. If I'm not writing, I can leave my computer off for a couple of days w/out missing a beat.

I'm at the top of being mortal. Please toss my name in the hat for any your books. They all look fantastic.

Sherida Stewart said...

Carolyne, your post is great!

I LOVE this reason (excuse?) for my wanderings: As writers we are easily distracted. I claim it’s because our minds are always roaming back and forth seeking ideas, other ways to say what we are saying, juggling story lines of other books we want to write and scenes that are coming up and how we should get there. YES! I have all those other writing ideas in my head, but I am trying to focus on ONE story during #Speedbo.

And of course, this is the time my interest in Pinterest has been rekindled, so I've been trying to figure out how to put a P button on my website....not successfully.

HOWEVER, I have met my daily goal for 4 straight days now! (My goal is rather meager.) I'm cheering for all the Speedbo-ers out there!

I'd never heard of Freedom....will check that out. Thanks for sharing today! Now back to MORE plotting so I'll be ready tomorrow........

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Connealy's not funny.

She's warped.

Trust me, it's actually a sad, sad situation. I've spoken to her children, and they're concerned.

I tear up, just thinking about it. :)

Deb H., I have a job for you I think... With your techno magic hands. I'll e-mail you, sweet thing.

Carolyne Aarsen said...

Hey Connie, I think you'e exactly right. There's always the allure, when you're writing, for anything else and what better 'anything else' than the internet a veritable smorgasbord of distractions disguised as 'research'. And then there's conversations on Seekerville!

Sherida, thanks for your comment and good for you for meeting your goal 4 days in a row. Impressive. I know that when I'm working on a book that is giving me problems I'm always thinking, the NEXT one will be easier and more fun to write .... why not get on it right away. And then, when I finally get to the other book I find out it requires the same amount of hard work and discipline.

Debra Clopton said...

Carolyn loved the post! I might need to get freedom but I do pretty good actually. that's why I'm just now checking seekerville been writing all morning.

On the subject of laptops-saw the post between you and Ruthy, I write only on a laptop. I type hard and fast and wear them out when I'm on deadlines lol. It gives me freedom to write anywhere anytime. Dairy Queen drive through, cross country trips on boats on my office anywhere. I can't hardly find my way around a regular computer keyboard I've been writing on a laptop from day one since 1991. And a mouse-goodness if it wasn't for my finger and the touch thing on my laptop I couldn't navigate. lol okay gotta go write again. I hit my goal yesterday! Whoo hoo.
Speedbo on everyone! You can do it!

Wilani Wahl said...

Loved the post. Please enter me in the drawing for Carolyne's books.

Today has been busy getting ready for Cubbies tonight. Love teaching the kids and they give me ideas for my writing.

I managed to write 793 words today and hope I can get some more writing in after church.

I did take a break from writing to go up and sit on the porch to read a chapter in one of the books I am reading since it was 70 degrees.

I hope everyone else has had a profitable day.

Tanya Agler said...

Carolyne, Thank you for your post. I think I'm going to check out this app because come fall I will especially need it.

As far as Speedbo, I've gone back and reapportioned my chapters but I edited chapter 4 today. Please put my name in for the critique drawing.

Have a great day.

CatMom said...

Loved this post, Carolyne!! (I'm still giggling over your "sudden need to watch a monkey video" LOL).

You're so right about tons of distractions on the internet---it's beyond mind-boggling for me. (Ooops, I shouldn't have used the word boggling---now I'm wanting to play the word game BOGGLE). ;)

Thanks for joining us today, and please enter me in your book drawing.
Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

p.s. Ruthy got a new cat dish? Makes me feel guilty---my kitties have been using the same ones for a long time!

Carolyne Aarsen said...

Hey Deb, I admire your work ethic! And the fact that you only work on a laptop. I love the concept, though I don't know how you don't get DQ ice cream on your laptop - I'm forever dropping stuff on it. Good for you for hitting your goal! You are an inspiration to all of us.
Wilani, good job on your goal and enjoy your reading.

Tanya, definitely give it a trial. It's only $10.00! I'm clearly not using it now, though, come tomorrow, it's back at it and on goes Freedom.

Bettie said...

Made it to 4000. Can't believe I made it. Thank you Speedbo group! Hey, if I win something I would be very happy with the chapter critique. I really liked the comment about letting prayer keep you on track.

Sherri Shackelford said...

That Freedom software is great!

Candee Fick said...

Carolyne, I'd think you've been spying on me to have nailed the distraction factor so completely! Will definitely be checking out that program as I SPEED toward more words this month. Thanks for the perspective on freedom within boundaries.

SPEEDBO update: Over 1400 today before stopping to work on my crit partner's chapters. (Yesterday? Not so much since I had to deal with my son's misbehaving truck and a tow truck in the middle of a snowstorm. But tomorrow is looking good!)

Carolyne Aarsen said...

I'm sure your cats are okay, Patti Jo! Can tell from your profile picture that they're not suffering from lack of a fancy cat dish.

Way to go, Bettie! That's a goodly amount of words.

Sherri, I agree!

Candee, no...not spying...just being honest about my own foibles. Good luck with your goals. Every word you put down is one closer to the goal.

Ruth Logan Herne said...


And that's what my son saw, was that if he showed up with a laptop, I'd learn how to use it and wouldn't be trapped in a room/house, etc. And they go everywhere with me, have HP will travel and write! When I'm in hotels I slip downstairs in the middle of the night, find a quiet lobby corner, and write my heart out. I can stay on my sleep schedule anywhere I am and not lose time.

We all know I hate losing time!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Candee, that's wonderful!!!!! Carolyne, I agree, if folks can get into the habit of that one hour, or 500 words/day or 1000 words/day... Oh my stars, steady, fun construction!

Tina Radcliffe said...

We end this amazing Speedbo #NoLimits day with 131 Speedbo Writers!!!

Martha H said...

Evidently, I am blog-challenged. It seems to defeat the purpose of a "no internet" to spend hours finding where the comments are, and finding a google username that no one has yet! But I am hoping that I finally succeeded--will it or will it not let me post?

Martha H said...


So, I didn't need the no internet app today. I wrote at my daughter's gymnastics gym--no WiFi, no phone, couldn't see all the housework that needed doing or all the home school papers that needed grading. Instant discipline! (Well, after I ran out of lives on Candy Crush.)

I got through my first revision on my first chapter today. I am hoping to get it ready to send to contests by the end of the month.

I would love, love, love the chpater critique--but $25 at amazon would be nice as well.

Thanks for setting up this program!

Kelly Blackwell @ Heres My Take On It said...

Great post Carolyne. For the most part I am pretty good at avoiding the internet when it is time to write. The biggest pain for me is getting my bum in the chair. So far so good. I love how you gave us a new and very true look at freedom. I'm going to keep working for that goal!

Marilyn Turk said...

Carolyne, I've got to get that program! My husband just walked in, stood over my shoulder and saw I was looking at Facebook, then asked how the writing's going. I told him I don't look at FB all day! In fact, I wrote 1089 words today. Met my daily goal. YAY! Now I have to order that program and see if I can be even more productive. Thanks!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Carolyne, Thanks for joining us today. Sorry I missed out. Was celebrating anniversary today. smile
Real life romance.

Thanks again for your great post.

Carolyne Aarsen said...

One last post - thanks so much for having me. Martha, yeah, when you'er out and about, internet is a challenge.
Kelly, I wish I had your discipline. So for me, Freedom is the way to go.
Marilyn, I used to have my computer facing so that people coming in could only see the back of it. I rearranged my office and now anyone coming in can see right away what I'm doing.....good for you for meeting your goal.
Sandra, congratulations on your anniversary. Each one become more precious.
Thanks everyone for your warm welcome and may you have much Speedbo success! Blessings to all of you and to your writing.

Deanna Stevens said...

Freedom.. I'm enjoying the freedom of retirement.. I enjoyed reading your ideas on it...
toss me into the book draw please :)

Julie Lessman said...

CAROLYNE, I'm SO sorry I'm late, but WOW, was it worth the wait!!

You are a hoot and hooked me with these lines: "So whenever I see the word speedbo I’m thinking…..speedo….and then my usually overactive imagination transports me to Europe and I think of blithely unselfconscious, overweight men wearing these things."

LOL!!! Finally, someone with a mind as degenerate as mine ... ;)

You said: "However as I got older I started to realize that true freedom is really about chains."

WOW ... that is soooo true and something we don't think about, so thank you for bringing it to light in your wonderful post.

Thanks for the "Freedom" tip -- I may have to work up the nerve to buy it. :)


Edwina said...

What a fantastic idea!! I'm getting this loaded today!

Would love to read Ruthy's books!

The Artist Librarian said...

My dad did something to the wifi at our house that shuts it down at 10:00pm. Good when you need to focus (I am so guilty of being distracted by the Internet), but it's horrible when you need to fact check or download an article for the paper your writing. =P