True Confessions of an Internet Junkie

I am completely and totally willing to admit I have a serious problem with my internet activities. I work from home every day and its really hard to shut out the constant stream of information I encounter online, and so of course, find myself completely and totally distracted somewhat regularly. For a while, I was countering this by going to coffee shops where I felt more motivated to work and less distracted by Twitter, Facebook, and especially Second Life.

I had to bring my coffee shopping days to an end as it simply no longer fit in my budget to pay $3-4 for a cup of coffee on a regular basis, and as we know, when you're in a coffee shop, you never just drink one. I could pay $6-7 for a bag of gourmet coffee, brew it at home, and the entire bag would probably last me a couple of months at least. However, part of the beauty of the coffee shop was the slowed bandwidth due to heavy amount of sharing. That's right. My real pleasure from the coffee shop was the simple fact that the internet at most is too slow to support my internet gaming at a desirable level. (That and my laptop graphics are no longer the latest and greatest, adding another detractor from gaming away from home.)

And yeah, go ahead and laugh it up. I play Second Life and I'm not ashamed of it. As a matter of fact, I'm one of those people who have a blog devoted to and written by my in-world character, and yes, I even own the domain just as I do with this one. And guess what. It gets more page views than this blog, so maybe you reading this and laughing at me are really the odd man out. Or it could just be that my other blog has a much cooler, gamer layout. Whatever.

The point is though, now that I'm basically stuck at home to work, I work from my desktop which does support all of my internet addictions quickly and efficiently. I would devote a couple of days a week to working from the office, but its been made pretty clear that is not an option. My only option is to find some way to moderate myself and my activities and focus myself on the task at hand.

When I first encountered this issue with working from home months ago, I created a personal calendar that I use to schedule all of my activities (including gaming), but the trick to that is that I have to actually do what I've scheduled myself to do. It started off working great and I was sticking to my calendar really well until about two weeks ago. Then, I got some crappy news which has economically put me in a bad place. When things spiral out of my control, I have a bad tendency to free fall rather than grab something like a calendar and use it to parachute safely down.

So, here I am and I see the ground rapidly approaching. I need to think fast. I recently found a lot of release and relaxation by going to the gym (which has gotten skipped for gaming too much lately) and from Second Life itself. Since I've returned to my over-gaming habits, I've recreated my Second Life. I've taken up a regular work schedule and have been successfully marketing myself, my work, and my blog. It gives me some sense of peace to know I'm successful somewhere, and somehow I always find myself working through my problems with the help of friends in-world and great ideas hit me as I see the work others have done and how they do it. This time I had a lot of great ideas for revamping my SL blog and even possibly this one.

I need to write more. Gym time and game time help to a degree, but I need exercise in writing. I need to start my day (or end it) with some sort of gush of words. It's just like in every writing class I've ever taken. You start the class with a journal entry as a sort of warm-up to the big writing you're going to do in a few minutes. Here's my journal entry. So, if I just maintain a steady stream of writing, even when it isn't writing for work, I'll keep those juices flowing and ideas forming and I'll be prepared for the big work writing ahead.



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