A Writer’s Guide to Surviving the Internet

A guest post this morning at Ty Johnston’s blog:

A Writer’s Guide to Surviving the Internet

I got my first high-speed internet access when I upgraded from dial-up (ask your parents) back in about 1994. And while I’d love to be able to say that I immediately noticed a huge upturn in my productivity as a result of instant access to resources, references, and current events, the reality is that I wasn’t keeping track of my productivity because I was spending every waking hour on Yahoo (ask your parents), deoxy.org, and the Internet Movie Database.

The World Wide Web is both a blessing and a curse for the working writer. It offers up a wealth of resources for research, inspiration, and communication — but at the same time, the critical mass of those resources constantly eclipses the number of free hours in which we can take advantage of them. In years gone by, you’d have to be a specifically serious type of academic wonk to do so much writing research that you never had time to actually do any writing. These days, you can accidentally click on a link to tvtropes.org or start checking out the comments at the Passive Voice blog, and the next thing you know, your family hasn’t seen you in so long that they’ve had you declared legally dead.

Presented here are a few tips that have served me well at the times when I’ve felt my internet habit getting the upper hand on my writing habit. Some are technical, sort of; some are philosophical. All reflect the fact that for better or worse, the internet has changed the way we function as writers, and that understanding the best and worst parts of those changes is the only way to make sure our writing doesn’t suffer as a result…

Check out the entire piece at Ty’s site.