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Tip Tuesday #109

Tip Tuesday is a weekly feature where writers send in tips for fellow writers. If you'd like to send in a tip, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

Today's super useful tip was sent in by a new blog reader, Elizabeth Pettie, who writes MG and YA. She blogs at Remember, A Writer Writes and tweets at @ElizabethPettie.
Please give her a warm welcome by visiting and following!

Say no to Facebook

I was listening to an NPR podcast about willpower. According to the podcast, we've got a limited supply of willpower so it's better to avoid temptation. Don't fill your pantry with cookies if you don't want to eat them.

Writing on the computer tests my willpower. It's hard not to check e-mail, Facebook, or the news (well maybe just the gossip news). That's why I hired my nanny. The nanny is a google chrome extension that blocks sites during specified hours. (For firefox you can use leech block.) If I try to click on facebook between the hours of nine to five, my nanny sends me a message that says, "shouldn't you be working." And the Nanny's right. I should be working.

~Elizabeth Pettie


  1. Great tip. I need to get off the Internet, like all the time.

    I saw on your blog that you're a lawyer. Me too. Do you live in Ann Arbor? I wondered from the picture of winter.

  2. A nanny is exactly what I need. :-D

  3. Hi Natalie. I live in A2, but I'm from TX. After five years here, I'm still not ready for winter.

  4. Great. I'm addicted to blogging. I just want to know what everyone is up to...LOL. I need a life. =)

  5. Such a timely comment for me! I just finished a draft of my MG novel and I found that I was having a much harder time than ever before with internet distraction.
    Didn't have to hire a nanny but it was hard.

  6. What a great tip! Thank you! I had to get a new lap top two weeks ago and insisted on not having any games uploaded. They're so addictive. Saves me a lot of time too!

  7. Freedom is a piece of software that blocks the Internet for a specified period of time:

    I'm on the fence about whether to download it because it costs ten dollars and I don't think I'm ready to go cold turkey and block the Internet entirely.

  8. I don't have this problem, but I'm off to follow here blog. Thanks!

  9. Great tip. I'd say more, but my nanny is coming...

  10. LOVE this tip! The only problem is the developer pulled Chrome Nanny. There seems to be another program called "Stay Focused" that might work as well. Yay! I need this~ :o) <3

  11. Thank you, Elizabeth! I'm going to get this right away!

  12. Oh wow, I am definitely going to be trying this one out.

  13. LOL! I need the nanny, what an awesome idea. Can I set it up to do that for Twitter though, cause that's my poison of choice. ;)

  14. The Nanny. Dear me. I got this odd picture in my head of some grim-faced governess-type wagging her finger at me when I click Facebook.


    But truthfully, that is so needed. And it takes a lot of courage to acknowledge and accept when you need a little nanny in your writing life.

  15. LOL! I cannot agree more...I need a nanny too!

  16. What an interesting idea. I wish I could hire a real nanny to cook dinner and do laundry. That would free me up to write AND social network.

  17. Thanks LTM. Here's the link for 'stay focused', if 'the Nanny' doesn't work:

    Although I do like the title 'the Nanny' a lot better.

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  19. Ooh a program to keep you on task. That is interesting. I work in V.R. and I may have to recommend this to be installed on client computers.

  20. A computer nanny is PERFECT! Great tip!

  21. Ha! That's so cool. I need this. I can imagine I'd get more work done!

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  23. Fantastic tip! Can you sync it with an audible voice? Something that sounds like an old british lady who is very stern yet has a soft heart but we only see that side come out after she has brought my family back together because of our distance caused by competing hectic schedules?
    ...Or Kermit the Frog...whatever is easier.