Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Internet: The Best Friend of Writer's Block?

I have this habit when I sit down to write at my laptop; I turn on the wi-fi antenna.  The dictionary and grammar check program that I use when writing works best when it’s connected to the World Wide Web.  I’ll get comfortable, and start to write.  Suddenly, that little blue light on my keyboard becomes distracting, but not in the way that you might think.  I’m distracted by the information that that little light may be holding that very second.  The whole world is literally a single click away.  Why can’t I just ignore this info, and do my work?  Why do I constantly find myself dropping my work, for what I tell myself will only be a few minutes, to click on that lower case letter e on my desktop?  I don’t know.  Maybe it’s my constant need to check my email every half hour.  I’ve got to find out if my latest story has been accepted or rejected.  Maybe it’s because I want to read up on the latest gossip and drama that my friends on Facebook are enduring (even though I rarely post on Facebook myself at all.)  Or maybe, and most likely, I’m experiencing writer’s block and want to fill the void of absent story with the much unneeded goliath sized pile of information that is the Internet.  Yes, for certain, when I’m experiencing writer’s block, my worst enemy is the Internet.  I can write my main character into the most perilous of situations; suddenly, he has no way out.  What should I do?  I got it; I’ll Google an exit strategy.  It’s only an excuse to myself to once again merge into the information highway.  Of course, this doesn’t work.  In fact, I soon find myself watching an incredibly useless movie clip of a man drop kicking a black bear for a king salmon.  Hmm, that was helpful.  So while I’m surfing the net when I should be writing, I’m beating myself up, knowing that I’m wasting time.  Somehow, I find the self control to exit the browser and return to my work.  I’m finally making good headway.  Suddenly, my main character makes a humorous jab at someone.  It occurs to me, “Didn’t what’s his name say that in that one movie?”  Hmmm, maybe I should Google it…  Everyday, I seem to find more and more self control over this problem.  It’s a slow and difficult recovery, but I know I’m going to make it.  Eventually, my work does get done.  And after all, I have quit doing worse habits before in my life, but it’s not like quitting smoking.  You can’t just quit the Internet “cold turkey.”  Everyday, I need to use the internet for a legitimate reason.  But still I wonder, what would I write without it constantly lingering in front of me?

4 comments:

  1. Internet can be both good or bad. If you get addicted to Internet then soon you may discover yourself browsing for hours without any purpose. I am now trying very hard to come out of this problem.
    My blog: http://write-translate.blogspot.com/

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  2. I've been there before. The Internet can be very distracting when the tool you use to access it is the same tool you use to do your work.

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  3. This is such a fantastic post that you now have a new follower! Hahahaha, I feel this exact same way, especially now that I'm waiting to hear from an agent about my full submission. I now have an obsessive string of websites I check: my email, QueryTracker, QueryTracker Community, AbsoluteWrite, the stats of my blog, Facebook... Repeat indefinitely. It's amazing how crazy we can make ourselves.

    (P.S.-I found your page through AbsoluteWrite. I'm new to blogging myself, and I wish you lots of luck! :))

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  4. Thanks for the comment LisaAnn, and thanks for following!

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