Offline October: Are you in?

If you are reading this, then it is pretty much a given that you love, or at least like, the internet.

As a blog writer, can I say, I love you for loving it, and thanks!  Knowing that at least some people enjoy your work makes it worth doing and is a wonderful, irreplaceable encouragement.

It’s also wonderful to know that it’s not just me.  Because oh my giddy aunt, I do love the interwebs!

It’s writer heaven, the online world. Where else could I find detailed instructions on how to field-strip a pistol in the middle of the night?  (When I need it for book research, natch.  What were you thinking?)

And blogs, twitter and the faceplace keep me in touch with my tribe.  Writing is a solitary business, but thanks to the internet, it doesn’t have to be a lonely one. I have met wonderful new friends here online, both writers and non-writers and I cherish them.

But… there are only so many hours in a day.

I don’t spend a lot of time watching cat videos (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), but even the ‘good’ stuff – reading blogs I love, catching up with industry-related news and mates, and research – can chew up the time that I need for other things, like deadlines.

And even if I still get my writing done, and the time I spend here is usefully spent, it still leaves me less time for doing other things.  Things which I also like and which help to feed my soul and refill my well of creativity.  It’s not that I can’t be refreshed online, but there are offline ways to do it – getting out in nature, catching up with friends in the flesh, playing with the dog, baking a cake or even reading a book – that are also important. (And growing non-mutant carrots.  Just sayin’. 😉 )

So, I am joining some other writing friends – and anyone who would like to join us – in Offline October.

We aren’t going offline altogether.  So much of our lives in conducted online these days that it would be impractical to skip it for a whole month.  (And after my recent experiment with giving up blogging, I know I’d miss it too much to go away completely!)

What we’re planning is to limit ourselves to one hour of online time a day.

This limit isn’t inflexible.  If you have to be online for your work, that doesn’t count.  In my case, this may mean allowing some extra time for handling emails, as there are various work and voluntary tasks in my life that require me to keep on top of email.  But I’m going to see if I can streamline that to 30 minutes a day (on top of my hour).  And it will mean that I will need to compose my blog posts offline, as it often takes me at least an hour to do those and I need time to do banking and so on as well (and, let’s face it, I can’t get through a whole month without Twitter).

But I will use a timer and log my time and work out ways to be more efficient so I can still do the things I want to do and keep it to an hour.

Some of us are going to see if we can get people to sponsor us for a charity.  I haven’t worked out if I’ll do this yet, but I figure I will at least sponsor myself, to encourage me to go the distance. It may sound a bit weird, to sponsor myself, but I figure, if I manage to do this, I will benefit.  If the thought of a sponsorship helps me achieve the goal it seems only fair to spread the benefit around!

So, what do you think?  Are you a super-disciplined person who never looks up from the internet and find that it’s an hour later than you thought?  Or are you a bit like me, Vitamin D deficient because you never get outside?  Might this be a good idea for you, too?  Can you think of a charity that might benefit?

If you want more info, visit the webpage or FB page, follow us on Twitter or search for the hashtag #offlineoctober. (No, the irony has not escaped us, but what better way to stay accountable!)

What do you say?  Are you in?

11 thoughts on “Offline October: Are you in?

    • No, blog tour counts as work, Nicki! So those don’t count towards your hour. It’s the random dithering about we’re looking at. The unaccounted-for time. If you HAVE to spend time online, all the more reason to deliberately book some time offline.

  1. I like the idea and would have a crack at it, but it’s my job to be on the internet all day! I think I’m addicted to the internet, frankly, I’m on it almost 24/7. Detox clinics will be opening up to wean people off Stumble Upon (which you should use Imelda, it’s immense), Facebook and Twitter. Good luck with your attempts at any rate; if you need sponsoring I’m willing to send over some tinned vegetables and tuna to help you through the cold, dark weeks of no-internet-ness.

    • I’m not going cold-turkey, don’t worry! And work doesn’t count. It’s more about trying to keep track of where the time goes. Although at the price that electricity is getting to these days I might have to take you up on the canned goods, when I am reduced to pedal-powering the internet!

  2. I guess I’m out! Finally, I am between projects, and excited at the prospect of getting more Blog time in. Although, I’ve got so much to do, I might not get as much time on-line as I’d like.
    Did you switch your picture back to your old one, or is it a WordPress malfunction?

    • You have a pass – you’ve hardly been able to draw breath lately, you can take whatever down-time you can get! The trouble for me is that work and play are both so connected to the interwebs that drawing the line can be tricky sometimes!

      I did switch my picture back to the old one, just for the blog. I’ve kept the new one on FB but she was making me feel a bit frumpy. The blog is where I kick back and put my feet up. Half the time, when I’m blogging, I’m in my pyjamas. The fancy pic was making me feel a fraud! So I’m keeping the old one for my blog look. I’ve got another one on the about me page now, though. It’s somewhere between Ms fancy britches and regular ole me: https://imeldaevans.wordpress.com/about/

  3. I too like the idea. It can distract… Being geographically isolated it’s hard to not to rely on the interwebs for answers, guidance and some how are yous. However with all the good stuff around sometimes comes stuff that just clogs up time and confuses the soul. I turn it off any time I don’t have a browser open and check emails when necessary only. Am not addicted to the ‘refresh’ button so I do what I need to do during the time I think it’s going to take someone to get back to me – all other times the interweb signal is off. Having said that, some of my e friends are greatly preferred over f2f individuals so it’s nice to interact … that sometimes makes the interwebs quite valuable and I don’t want to turn it off!!

    • I know! It’s a lovely place, with so many friends! I don’t want to lose my connectedness. Really, what I want is to find a way to do all the things I’m doing now, but more efficiently, so I can do more other things as well. Don’t want much, do I? 😉 Still, I think it’s worth a try!

  4. Pingback: What I Learned from Offline October | Wine, Women & Wordplay

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