a bit of writerly advice… for March 2, 2018


Work on a computer that is disconnected from the ­internet.

Zadie Smith

This advice from English novelist and essayist, Zadie Smith, seemed apropos today, as I woke up to a house without power. Yes, March is definitely coming in like a lion, roaring with wind. As I write, it’s still gusting up to 60 miles per hour on the other side of the windows of my home office–but the electricity is back.

Still, for me, it pays to unplug while writing and rewriting and rewriting. Plugged in, it’s too easy to check my email or blog stats (yes, I admit I’m a blog stat checker), or check in with the cats in my FB feed. And every time a high school age writer in one of the (online) writing groups I belong to asks how other writers keep from being distracted, I say “unplug, unplug”…while plugged into FB. Hmm. Clearly, I need to do better.

Best to separate the writing process from the business of writing. The latter takes lots of being plugged in; the former takes very little (except for, say, a quick web search for the price of a movie ticket in 1939 for my historical novel manuscript).

What do you think? Do you write while unplugged or plugged in? Can you resist the pull of social media long enough to get into the state of flow required to write?

Other writing advice from Zadie Smith

¬†What’s your best writing advice?