Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Help and Hindrance of Modern Tech.

One year ago, I had one e-mail account.  That was it!  No blog, no social networking site, no twitter, just one e-mail account.  Today I have three e-mail accounts, two Facebook pages, two blogs (one of which is being horribly neglected as of late), a twitter account, and a website.  And, of course, to keep up with all this, I’m getting a smart phone tomorrow!  It’s something I swore I’d never do.  I’d always said the internet was there for my convenience not the other way around.  But with submissions out, editors e-mailing information, and witty friends, I feel compelled to be connected even when I’m not at home.  Yet, as I sat down to check my e-mail today, I couldn’t help but think back to the simpler days and wonder if my life really requires so much tech.

It seemed such a slippery slope to get from where I was to where I am.  It all started with me joining an online forum.  There I found friends who were facing the same struggles I was, writer’s block, rejections, and unfinished manuscripts.  And they gave me the encouragement and the resources I needed to rewrite and resubmit until I got it right, and got a contract.  While chatting with them, I realized how useful a blog would be.  Not to promote, but just somewhere for me to talk about whatever is on my mind.  Being a writer can be isolating, especially when you only have an eight year old and a four year old to bounce ideas off of all day.  So I started my first blog. 

By this time I was drifting away from the group.  I loved the people, but realized I would probably never be published by this particular publisher.  But I knew I would miss the friends I had made, so I started a Facebook page.  That way I got updates on them and could continue talking to them outside the boundaries of the forum. 

The next big change happened when I got my contract.  In the ‘publisher’s welcome pack’ it had a line about needing a website.  Me?  I’ve only had one thing accepted, do I really need a website?  They seemed to think so, and it is a nifty thing to have, so I put a website.  And since I’m writing under a pen name, that meant I needed another Facebook page to get my name out there.

So yes, I guess it turns out I do need the tech.  Well, everything but Twitter.  I actually signed up for that to enter a contest.  I didn’t win btw, but I do like the conversation feel of it, so I’m going to keep it. 

There are days I feel overwhelmed by the internet.  There are so many interesting blogs, people, articles, etc.  And there are days where I don’t get any real writing done because of it.  But that’s a lack of disciple on my part.  In the end, I can’t imagine being able to do my job without it.  To be honest, I wouldn’t have a job without it.


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