by Marinka on April 24, 2012

Since no one has ever asked me, I think it’s only fair to tell you about my writing process.  Ready?

Sit at computer.

Open Word.

Panic because I can’t find “Open New Document” in Word.

Realize that the reason that I can’t find “Open New Document” in Word is because it’s called “New Blank Document.”

Wonder when it was that Word changed it and if they did it just to fuck with me.

Google New Blank Document vs. Open New Document.

Google dementia.

Google paranoia.

Google am I going insane?

Google do other people treat Google like a therapist-Oracle combination or am I the only one? 

Twenty minutes later, open the new blank document.

Stare at it.

Check email.

Check secondary email account.

Check tertiary email account.

Check tertiary email account spam.

Why isn’t there any spam in the tertiary email account?!

Log into primary email account and send an email to tertiary email account titled “LOTS OF CASH AND BIG PENIS VIAGRA PILLS FROM CANADA” .

Log into tertiary email.

Have one new message.  Fume that primary email account email did not go to spam.

Wonder what it takes to get spam in tertiary email account.

Google How to Make Sure Your Email Gets to a Spam File.

Realize that still haven’t written a word except the email sent to self.

Curse distraction.

Curse the Internet.

Convince self that without the internet self would be an Edith Wharton-type writer by now.

Maybe Virginia Woolf.

Wonder whether Edith Wharton and Virginia Woolf ever met.

Google did Edith Wharton and Virginia Woolf ever meet? 

Curse the Internet some more.

Shake fist at the heavens.

Wait, why is it The Heavens if there is only one Heaven.

Google the Heavens vs. Heaven.

Oh, someone mentioned me on Twitter!

Yay, Twitter!

Fall into despair.

Months later, travel to the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop in Ohio.

But not before Googling  Ohio.

While at lunch at the Writers’ Workshop, bemoan the fact that the Internet is out to get me and impede my writing.

Listen to Amy tell me about Freedom.

Cock head to side.  Freedom?


Freedom is a program that basically cuts off your internet access.

Gasp.  Cuts off my Internet?


Download Freedom.

Try Freedom.

Set Freedom for a reasonable started time:


Get bad news:


Set Freedom for 15 minutes, but not before making sure to have pre- read all of the Internet.

Get more writing done in the 15 minutes than in the past three weeks.

Love Freedom.

Freedom is just another word for I’m going to get some writing done.

Tell Husbandrinka about Freedom.

Husbanrinka says, you’re kidding me, right?

Tell Husbandrinka that there is no kidding about Freedom.

Husbandrinka says crazy things like why don’t you just not go online and I work on my screenplay for hours without going online.


Realize that I haven’t mentioned Husbandrinka’s screenplay yet on my blog.

Worry that everyone will be more interested in Husbandrinka’s screenplay than Freedom.

Reassure self that Freedom will prevail.


Disclosure: This post is not sponsored by Freedom.  Although it was the best $10 I ever spent.




One year ago ...

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

April 24, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Amy sold me on Freedom, too. And while it’s useful and I love it, turning it on is difficult. I have a problem with the Internet.

Loved seeing you at EBWW, even if you did try to pick my pocket.

Now move along and turn on Freedom… Are you really going to let your screenplay writing husband best you in the getting-things-done competition?


April 24, 2012 at 11:26 pm

I AM interested in Husbandrinka’s screenplay more than Freedom, BUT not more than motherhoodinnyc. Okay?


April 25, 2012 at 1:15 am

I have Freedom too, but what do we do about our iphones?


christy April 25, 2012 at 6:31 am

You made me laugh out loud with the very first line. I’ve never heard of freedom, but will remember it if I ever need it!

PS – what was the name of the aquatics class your kids took – the one where they learned to swim in all conditions?!


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes April 25, 2012 at 7:23 am

Freedom has a different name in my house, here it is called ‘husband hogging internet for ‘work’ ‘ or ‘toddler chewing on cable’. Both are equally effective.


Alexandra April 25, 2012 at 8:28 am

I appreciate your love for us, in offering help, but when I lose a doc., which I did last night, no amount of Freedom is going to get it back.

It’s lost. I don’t know where things go.

I’ve got so many posts just lost and floating and sent to some virtual folder out there.

But, thank you. Generous through every bone in your body.

And, when I die, as my life flashes before my eyes, one of the most serendipitious frames will be that of watching you, Marinka, open up your laptop, and me seeing your fingers work the keyboard.

An unexpected bit of life’s sweetness, up there with finding my once 3 year old’s favorite cupcake under his pillow for “a snack for if I want something in my dream.”


Anna Lefler
April 25, 2012 at 8:50 am

“Oh, Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to loooooose…” *runs to find tambourine and fringed vest*

So great seeing you in the Dayton, my dear. Just so great!




April 25, 2012 at 10:18 am

The concept of being shut out for the internet practically makes me break out in the sweats. But Neil is right. What about my iphone? And what would I do without Dr. Google? What if I had a real breakdown while writing, who to consult then?


Steph April 25, 2012 at 10:19 am

If Freedom means even more posts from you, I love Freedom.


April 25, 2012 at 10:25 am

So glad our writing processes are so similar. Let’s blame it on our 40’s.

Instead of using this Freedom from the internet stuff though – I think I’ll just take-off my bra today. That totally counts, right?


anymommy April 25, 2012 at 10:58 am

That “writing process” sound so familiar. But I won’t try Freedom. It sounds too restrictive 😉


Megan April 25, 2012 at 11:13 am

I… You… What? Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to unplug the modem?


kristen [rage against the minivan]
April 25, 2012 at 11:18 am

I have a very similar writing technique, except that mine involves about 2 hours on pinterest in the process. So to me, this is a very streamlined system. Well done!


Jeanne April 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I’d hoped to meet you at the Erma Bombeck conference over the weekend, but I didn’t see you. Of course, it doesn’t help that I don’t actually know what you look like.

There was a really beautiful woman sitting at Anna Lefler’s table on Saturday night, and I decided that must be you.

You’re gorgeous!


dusty earth mother April 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Laughed much. Then had recurrent image of Mel Gibson shouting this word in Braveheart. Thanks for both.


Tracy Beckerman April 25, 2012 at 1:22 pm

This. is. HILARIOUS!! And so true. Frighteningly similar to my creative process although I had one added step:
Hear dog retching in hallway.
Abandon computer to drag him outside before he pukes on rug.
Watch dog get outside and stop retching.
Let dog back in. Go back to computer.
Hear dog puke on rug in hallway.
Abandon computer to clean up puke.

Just wanted to make you feel better about your process!


Carinn @welcometothemotherhood
April 25, 2012 at 2:15 pm

This is so hysterical I don’t even know what to say. I CANNOT stop laughing at the thought of you typing in something LESS than 15 minutes…just trying to ease yourself into something as crazy as turning off the internet. So glad you pre-read everything. Smart gal.


anna see April 25, 2012 at 4:48 pm

i wish you had never told me about freedom. now i’m going to feel guilty for not using it. oh and i am a teeny bit interested in husbandrinka’s screenplay!


Awesome Dude April 25, 2012 at 7:39 pm

They are saying in Hollywood that ” Everybody has a script”

I just wonder if they can extend themselves into an application where the human virus would identify a person who I don not ever want to see again and shot me off this person’s memory.


Maricris @ SittingAround April 25, 2012 at 8:03 pm

ha,ha, Love this post. Anyway, this is the first time I heard about Freedom. Hmm, interesting!


Anne (@notasupermom)
April 25, 2012 at 9:27 pm

This may push me into buying a Mac.
I have the same writing process, but I use Live Writer. After that, pretty much the same.


April 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm

I wonder, how many times did you try to access the Internet during those 15 minutes?


Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him
April 25, 2012 at 9:54 pm

I’m not sure about this Freedom. I’m more into restricted internet civil liberties, the ones that come with all that Googling you mentioned.

It is amazing how little writing I sometimes do…as a writer.


April 25, 2012 at 10:18 pm

I’ve got something better than Freedom. It’s called AT&T DSL.


April 26, 2012 at 12:19 am

Wait…Freedom isn’t free? That’s a bunch of bullshit. Reading this post made me realize I need a tertiary email account. Off to Google that!


deb April 26, 2012 at 11:49 am

Freedom sounds good, except, if I had it, i wouldn’t be here reading and commenting on your blog as part of my “writing process!”


the mama bird diaries
April 26, 2012 at 9:00 pm

what is the screen play about?!!!!


May 2, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Husbandrinka has a screenplay?

There’s another way to write BESIDES constant shiny-object-disarray?

Will I just keep asking you questions?


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