I often cheer about the advantages writers have nowadays with the Internet at their beck-and-call to help them navigate the publishing sea. It is a sea filled with dangers to be sure. Sharks lurk around every corner. Shallow waters, and sand traps, deep waters and tidal waves threaten... but we have the information super-highway as our recourse to fight off the beasts that would destroy us.
Yes, we are lucky.
I remember 20 some odd years ago when I wrote on my old selectric typewriter. It was simpler then. A writer wrote, printed page upon page (we will not go into how hard it was to get those error free pages without the benefit of backspace delete) and ship them off with fondest wishes to the next address in the Writer's Digest. Once that beloved child was on its way, we simply fired up the typewriter, inserted a fresh sheet, and started a new story.
Some things are similar to those days. Of course it's all about the writing, and instead of a typewriter we fire up our trusty word programs. When completed we ship them off (often via email--how wonderful is that) but there's a slightly unassuming hazzard in the waters that is as much our enemy as our savior.
You see, for all the wonderful things the Internet offers us in the form of knowledge of the beast, and protection from its dangers... it also provides a pitfall that goes almost un-noticed.
It sucks up time.
Instead of slipping a bright new page into the roller of our typewriter, after our baby is shipped off we are free to go galavanting through the world via the Internet express.
In fact often during the creation of our babies we take our little 'holidays' to websites, blogs, forums, oh, all in the name of research of course. It does occassionally get out of hand though, doesn't it? Yes, I think the Internet is our greatest friend, and often our biggest enemy... but it sure is more fun than the lonely writer alone with a typewriter of the past.