12.7.13

So nice to be home. The kittens grew whilst I was gone, Jameson actually growing taller, which tells us we don't have a little cat, like we thought we might. They've both gained some weight, and seem happy and sassy, so clearly Randy did a good job with them this week. They've both been on me all day, draped around my neck and asleep in my lap, so I'm feeling wanted as well. 

Got up this morning, did a bunch of overdo Christmas shopping, settled in at noon to work, then realize my laptop was still on Pacific time. Two hours lost! So I didn't get as much done as I wanted, but I got a start on the revisions I need to make to the first third of the book before I go on to write the rest. 

One of the many things I find fascinating about Catherine is her work set up. Her work computer does not have Internet, and it's in a different part of the house from the computer that does. (She also has the willpower of a General, and laughs at my difficulty keeping work and life separate) I've been trying to decide a good way to handle this, realizing that it's very important not to have the constant siren's call of distraction in my lap at all times. CC has a great, non-connected rhythm to her days, one I effortlessly fall into while I'm there, and quickly fall out of when I'm home. 

This isn't a new problem for me. I'm a laptop addict, though, and can't imagine not having Internet on it - plus I use Dropbox, which constantly updates during the day. Yes, I use Freedom quite a bit, but by shutting my Internet off completely, I don't have the backups.

What if there was another way to create a distraction free environment?

Before Dropbox, I used to email myself the manuscript at the end of each day as a backup.  I had a Sony Vaio several years ago, and I set up a separate user account on it, with parental controls that severely limited the Internet and weren't easily circumvented, and an email account that I could use to mail the manuscript back each day. It worked rather well. But with Dropbox, all I need is a wireless connection, and the work is immediately backed up each time I save.

So I created a new user on my MacAir, took everything out but the wireless, Scrivener and Wunderlist (because I add stuff to my to do list at random throughout the day) And voila, a distraction free environment, sans bookmarks, Safari, and anything else that calls to me through the day.

We'll see how this works. I spent an hour in it this afternoon, and while I was tempted to go back over and check my mail, I didn't.  It's not a perfect solution, but it's elegant and simple enough to try for a while.

I'd love to hear if you have a good hack for distraction-free work time.

Sweet dreams!

JT Ellison

J.T. Ellison is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of fifteen critically acclaimed thrillers and is the co-author of the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. With over a million books in print, Ellison’s work has been published in twenty-five countries and thirteen languages. She is also the co-host of A Word on Words, Nashville's premier literary TV series, which airs on Nashville Public Television. She lives with her husband and twin kittens in Nashville. Visit JTEllison.com, and follow her on Twitter @Thrillerchick or at Facebook.com/JTEllison14.