"Mom, can I check my MySpace?"
"Can I talk to you? I'm tired of looking at the back of your head!"
"Mom, I need the computer for homework..."
It used to be so easy. I'd fire up the computer (and let it 'warm up' for about five minutes while it loaded...I'd finish watching the news or drink another cup of coffee, or even do the dishes! Remember those days?) and bring up my MS Works document. Or WordPad. And turn on some music and let the words flow.
And then we got internet. Suddenly, I check my email and read everything my friends sent me. I'd write for a while, and check it again, wincing if an IM popped up (I finally learned how to 'be invisible' on the AOL IM!)
Total 'goof-off' time: 30 minutes, tops.
And...the phone wouldn't ring, because the internet was tied to my landline. My friends knew I was home because of the continuous busy signal.
Fast-forward six years.
The computer now takes about six seconds to load; I get on, I check my email. I delete quite a bit, thanks to certain SPAM, or a few friends who still insist on sending certain forwards I recognize. Others I briefly skim before hitting the delete button, or, if it particularly funny, I'll pass it on to a few choice friends on my list.
Next I move onto my blog. It usually takes me half an hour or so to post. Then I'll grab another cup of coffee and start reading my favorite ones, in order to see what my friends are doing. If there's a new release, I'll make a note of it. If I think of a comment, I do so and move on.
If I have something to post on 'my day' here, I'll post it afterwards. And then it's on to FaceBook.
I'll scroll down, reading and commenting on any new status updates, and write my own. Then I copy and paste my blog entry(ies).
One more email to check in with, and oh yes...this is my publisher's forum month, so I log in and check to see if anyone's visited any of the threads. I'll comment, or as was the case today, post a new entry. If there's been an interesting thread on any chat loop digest, I'll pop over and chime in.
Total 'goof-off' time: 2-3 hours. But wait...this is part of my job, so it doesn't count! It's the business side of my job, to connect with readers, get advice, and stay in touch with friends!
I get up to stretch, take a break. The floors could really use a vacuum cleaner; the pets need water. Sometimes I'll start the laundry. Put away the coffee maker, decide what to fix for dinner. Oh, it's noon? Time to fix myself some lunch.
While I'm eating, I'll plug in my e-book flash drive and read a few chapters of the book I'm reading.
Afterwards, I'll eject it and pop in my 'document' flash. I'll read over what I've written the previous day and get to work for about an hour.
Okay...now it's after 1? Let's check in with the blogs, email, and FaceBook again....and go back to the wip. At 2:15 I go get in the car to go pick up my youngest from school. I can work for another forty-five minutes before the teens get home, and the above arguements are expressed.
Sometimes after dinner I'll get lucky again and no one will be on the computer. I check the email, blogs, and yes, sometimes FB again, before the flash is plugged in and I might write a few more sentences.
So you be the judge...am I goofing off too much, or is anywhere from 600-1500 words a good average? If the words are flowing, I can knock out a book in about 4-5 weeks. If they aren't coming, sometimes it will be years.
And darn it...where are the housecleaning Brownies? I'm working!
Sigh...off to clean the floors...I can't tell what color the carpet is anymore, and even the dog is complaining! (Just kidding!)