The Internet: A Writer’s Best Friend and Worst Enemy

Your Best Friend

If you’re a writer, you should get to know Evan Carmichael http://www.evancarmichael.com. His Top Ten Lists which you can find on YouTube or his website are amazing. If you do a search for just about every major writer, you’ll find one of Evan Carmichael’s top ten lists of their rules for success. For each rule, there’s a clip demonstrating that rule for success. Evan Carmichael makes it’s clear it’s “his take” on their top ten rules, but he seems to get it right.

How do you discover new writers? I find the Internet Data Base http://www.imdb.com an indispensable tool. Whenever I see a new movie and I don’t recognise the title, I click the “Writer” heading, which is found under the Director. It lists both the screenwriter(s) and the author of the adapted material, if it isn’t an original story. Recently I looked up Jo Nesbo after seeing a listing for The Snowman. He’s an international bestselling author and I had never heard of him before.

Note: I’m not sure if I should use “recognize” or “recognise.” I really have to start keeping a Canadian dictionary nearby, because sometimes we use the British spelling and sometimes we use the American spelling. Canadian trivia: Since they’re found in Canadian forests, did you know that “moose” has the same spelling for both the singular and the plural? It doesn’t matter is there’s one moose or a thousand moose, the spelling never changes.

Before the internet you could read articles and books about authors, you might be lucky enough to see them interviewed on television or you might hear them speak at a writer’s conference. Now you can go to YouTube, type in an authors’ name and see them delivering speeches at writing conferences, and or discussing their work at libraries anywhere on the globe. The information you can learn about an author’s writing process and his or her experience in the publishing industry is invaluable.

Your Worst Enemy

Have you ever found yourself sitting down to work on a piece of writing, and instead you’re looking at pictures of yachts and private jets owned by wealthy entrepreneurs, musicians and professional athletes? If you’ve managed to get past that temptation, perhaps you find yourself watching cat videos. There’s nothing wrong with being curious about how the super wealthy live or laughing at a cat falling into a bath, but do it often enough and you’ll never finish that novel.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that I was spending far too much time looking at e-mails, when I should have been writing. I deleted my profile from three websites and unsubscribed from several newsletters. There are two good reasons to do this: 1. Since the amount of time you have to write is limited, you don’t want to waste that valuable time reading e-mails that are essentially junk mail. 2. If you’ve submitted material to editors or producers, you don’t want to miss their replies because you’re rushing through an inbox filled with junk.

I hope that you’ll find time to write this week, because there are always new authors being discovered and you might as well be one of them. Keep writing, because it’s your voice, your passion.

P.S. Please ask your local library to order a copy of my eBook, What If? A Collection of Short Fiction by J. Paul Cooper, available to libraries through Overdrive and Cloud Library. You can purchase copies through http://www.smashwords.com and other online book retailers.

Copyright © 2017 by J. Paul Cooper