Can Writers Survive a Day Without Internet Access?
By Joanne Troppello
We are all so dependent on the Internet. I’m dating myself, but I remember the days when I used to have to submit short stories to magazine editors through “snail mail” and include a SASE—self-addressed stamped envelope, for those who are unfamiliar with that acronym.
I actually bought each new edition of the “Writer’s Market” so that I could read the guidebook to find out where I should send my next short story or manuscript and what each magazine editor or publisher was specifically looking for. This guidebook is still available today. However, now you can easily ascertain submission requirements online.
These days, life is so much easier for the writer with the Internet. However, it can be difficult as well; but we’ll get to that part later. Let’s have some fun first.
So, what’s a writer supposed to do when their Internet connection is lost, and they can’t get online!?!?!?
Depending on how long the internet connection is down for, the withdrawal symptoms will vary.
1. No more Facebook access.
You can’t spend the morning scrolling down the newsfeed…what a disaster. Although, that would be the perfect time to get back to working on your next blog post or manuscript!
2. Forget about updating Twitter.
Will the world get by without knowing what you ate for breakfast or how your exercise workout went or where you’re going for lunch?
3. What about your blog?
Of course, your faithful followers are waiting with bated breath for your daily blog. Can they survive the day if you don’t publish your next post?
4. Email’s down.
Now you can’t respond to the growing list of unread emails that you haven’t had time to catch up on reading during the week since you’ve been too busy catching up with everyone on Facebook and Twitter.
5. No new dose of fake news.
Oh, I mean real news on all those media sites you like to scroll through when you really should be working on that copywriting assignment. Forget about watching the news on TV. Who even has cable or watches local channels anymore!? Doesn’t everyone stream their shows through Hulu, Netflix, Play Station Vue, DirecTV Now, and now YouTube TV? Which you can’t do today anyway since the Internet connection is down!
6. No online marketing for your latest book.
No visiting reader chat rooms or browsing through the Google+ communities. Guess you won't be making any real connections with readers online today. Forget about actual book signings at the local bookstore. Who does those anymore!
Now back to reality. I have lived in the time prior to the Internet and can see the difference today. We are addicted to staying in touch with reality online—and believe me, I use that word loosely—as we constantly keep our phones close by to check emails, wait for texts, waste time on social media sites, and live with the fear of missing out on something. What are we missing out on? Living our own lives. Actually sitting with our computers, laptops, or tablets and using those devices to productively craft our next unbelievable story or novel.
I am part of this culture that is addicted to the Internet. Sure, this is an awesome resource for the writer. I used Google many times when I did research for my last two books. Which was so nice compared to years before when I needed to visit the library to research facts for my first book. The internet is a wonderful tool for marketing your books and branding your name as an author. It’s a great avenue to get connected to other authors and writers and make connections that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. It has provided the platform for indie authors to get self-published through services like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.
However, there is the danger of getting too addicted to the Internet and straying far off track from a myriad of distractions. After all, if we call ourselves writers and authors, we need to have something to show for it. That means writing stories and manuscripts and getting them published.
Sure, we can use the Internet for so many things. Just remember not to be used by the Internet and get sucked into its vortex. It’s a black hole that can definitely ruin your productivity as an author. You need to find that balance and make your time online count and be as productive as possible.
Are you addicted to the Internet? We'd love to hear from you.