Suspend Your Disbelief

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Earn your internet access—by writing


Writers are full of tricks to get themselves to actually WRITE. We’ve covered a lot of them here on FWR: positive reinforcement (with tools like Written? Kitten!, which rewards you with photos of cute cats), fear (with apps like Write or Die, which plays annoying noises—or deletes your work!—if you stop writing), and flat-out self-blackmail.

Here’s yet another addition to your arsenal, O Writer In Need Of Motivation. A new program, Blockr, lets you set goals and blocks you from the internet until you’ve completed them.

Says the Blockr site:

Today, the sirens we face are glowing rectangles. As Odysseus strapped himself to the mast of his ship to protect himself from the siren’s song, maybe we need a similar way to protect ourselves from the sirens of perpetual stimulation. […]

Blockr is meant to provide a nudge towards producing something – no matter how humble – before consuming information on the web. It’s just a guideline. You can disable it at anytime. But you’re definitely going to have to think about it when you do. You’ll stop and think, “Why is it okay to violate this guideline? What is important here?” If you have a good answer, then you can disable Blockr in peace. If not, it may gnaw at you a bit. And that’s not a bad thing.

Blockr is a free Chrome extension, but you can try out the interface online. If you give Blockr a try, let us know how it worked for you in the comments section! (Via.)

Further Reading:
Looking for more productivity tools? Here are some of the ones we’ve covered:

  • Written Kitten provides you with photos of cats as you write
  • Stop writing with Write or Die, and the program will nudge you to continue, play an irritating noise until you start again, or delete your work—depending on how masochistic you feel
  • Aherk! will download a compromising photo of you to your friends—unless you meet your writing goals
  • Plenty of apps and plug-ins, like Leechblock and Self-control, will shield you from the internet while you work
  • One Page Per Day gently encourages you to produce just that
  • Even Google Docs can help you be more productive by paring away distractions on-screen

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