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  • Writer's pictureDebra Stang

25 Writing Tasks You Can Accomplish When the Internet is Down and Out

Okay, I admit it. When I can't get Internet access, I panic. That's partly because email is my lifeline to clients and gigs, and partly because I've developed the habit of researching and writing at the same time. Yes, I know. Twenty lashes with a wet noodle.

Anyway, Midwest thunderstorms being what they are, and modern technology being what it is, there are times when my Internet service is simply knocked out flat. Rather than crouching in the nearest corner with my arms over my head–my first instinct–I've made a list of some of the writing tasks that I can accomplish without being online.

May you find it useful, and may you have to resort to it only rarely!

  1. Organize your writing space. Clear off all the trash, get your files in order, and put all the pens, notebooks, and paperclips back in their places.

  2. Shred documents you no longer need.

  3. Read any writing magazines you haven't been able to get to.

  4. Read an instructional book about writing or about running a small business.

  5. Read anything at all. Reading improves your writing.

  6. Work on editing any projects that need it.

  7. Write fiction, poetry, or an essay.

  8. Make cold calls to businesses you would like to work with.

  9. Brainstorm ideas for 25 articles.

  10. Craft query letters for at least five of these ideas.

  11. Brainstorm ideas for 25 blog posts.

  12. Write a letter or a card to let a client know how much you appreciate him/her.

  13. Outline an eBook you'd like to write.

  14. Write a review of a book you've recently read or a movie you've recently seen.

  15. If you don't already have one, make a list of all the projects you're working on and their due dates.

  16. Make a list of 10 writing-related goals you want to complete this week, this month, and this year.

  17. Call another writer and swap war stories and tips.

  18. Pick a large project you find intimidating and break it down into manageable chunks. Pick one chunk you can do without Internet access and get started.

  19. Do some simple chores around the home and let your thoughts drift to a piece of writing that's been giving you trouble.

  20. Brainstorm ways to market yourself and your freelance business.

  21. Work on a pet project you've been putting off.

  22. Scan your current assignment list for "next steps." Complete any steps that don't require Internet access.

  23. Take a 15-minute catnap and hope that by the time you wake up, your Internet access will be back in business.

  24. Catch up on bookkeeping and invoicing.

  25. Call your ISP provider and complain.

What do you do when your Internet service goes down?

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