Last week, Lily Hyde wrote beautifully here about the Mayakovsky Museum in Moscow, which led her swiftly to a discussion of the infinite diversions offered by the internet.
Of course the internet is fabulously valuable for writers. If you want to write a novel about the Fourth Crusade, you can discover apt details about weaponry and costumes within moments. If you want to send your character to Tasmania, there's no need to fork out for a plane ticket; you can just spend a few minutes on Youtube and you'll pick up enough local information to fill a chapter.
Then there are emails to answer, blogs to write, facebook pages to update, newspapers to read, movies to watch - not to mention the constant stream of observations and witticisms demanded by twitter.
But there is an alternative.
It's called Freedom. It costs 10 dollars, but you can download it and use it for free for 90 days.
Freedom is a little program which does one simple thing: it turns off your internet.
You give it a time. Twenty minutes, perhaps, if you want to do a short burst of concentrated writing and then look up the weather forecast. Or eight hours if you're determined to cut yourself off for the entire day.
Then you're divorced from the internet.
It's just you and your computer.
Perhaps you use Freedom already. Many writers do. I saw it thanked in the acknowledgements of Zadie Smith's new novel, for instance.
Or perhaps you don't need it.
Perhaps you write in a hut on a mountantop.
Perhaps you write with a typewriter. Or a pen and paper.
Perhaps you have willpower of steel and never feel a twinge of distractability.
But if you're feeling a terrible addiction to the internet - if you're reading this, for instance, when you should be writing - then I can recommend Freedom.