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Writing is, for many of us, something we want to do and also like weaseling out of. Excuses are easy and plentiful.

I wrote my last book in the midst of a crazy workload. Timeline was very short. I’d written my first book under completely different circumstances: longhand over a couple of years, with no contract, by kerosene lamp under a tin roof.

So the pressure was on, I wanted to write, but then 10 minutes into a session I’d think of something to look up, or jump over to work emails, or just hit a sentence or idea that felt like hard work, and so dive into cyberspace for sweet relief.

It quickly became clear I needed help a little less extreme than, but in the spirit of, Jonathan Franzen’s physically disabling his computer’s Internet capability.

Then I found the solution in a computer program called Freedom that disables your computer’s internet for the number of minutes you tell it to.

It’s also a good spiritual exercise in shame/humility: What kind of weakling has to spend $10 to do what you could just do on your own for free? Answer: me. (The reason, for those who are biblically minded, is found in Romans 7. For the non-religiously minded, I’m sure evolutionary psychology has a reason. I already have progeny, so maybe it’s my instinct to keep scanning for imminent danger or prey?)

And so you know, I’m not paid for this endorsement and don’t know anyone at the company. But I am open to deals. Actually, maybe there’s a good “from/to” promotion possibility: When you buy freedom from your Internet, then FREEDOM gives 10% to help students in Haiti get access to Internet. (Email me, Freedom folks!)

Anyway, if you’re trying to write on the same computer that you work and play on, I highly recommend it. I hadn’t used it in the past nine months since finishing After Shock, but just started working on ideas for a new book in the past week…and indeed needed it again last night and will be using it regularly again.

I know I’m not the first writer to endorse this program, but after putting it back in use, I figured I owed it my little ode.

Here to learn about or purchase Freedom.