As I began my journey on the road to becoming a writer, I turned to our collective best friend, the internet, to find information. She certainly is a fickle little bitch, isn’t she?
The internet is a siren, an ancient being who will lure you from her perch on slippery rocks, hoping you’ll crash your vessel and drown in a sea of useless information.
She is the nurturing mother, providing sage advice in gentle tones.
She is the trickster, leading you through an endless game of cat and mouse. You follow, hoping she will eventually lead you to a nugget of truth, but she only takes you to dark places you don’t want to be in or to dead ends that lead nowhere.
I have subscribed to literary magazines, joined Facebook groups and I’ve spent countless hours weeding my way through a lot of garbage on the net, all in the pursuit of learning something, anything about my new chosen craft. Now, my personal email inbox is completely bombarded with messages at all hours of the day and night. I thought my work email was bad, but this!
I don’t mean to complain but it’s overwhelming at times. I’ve learned an incredible amount in a very short span. I’ve begun networking with other writers, who I must admit, are overall an amazingly supportive group. I have gleaned a ton of tips on everything from writing techniques to publishing to where to find information and assistance. I have even found a lot of sources on contests and open submissions in order to peddle my work.
We live in an age of information overload. I remember begging my mother to buy me encyclopedias when I was a child. I was eight when I got my first copy, Letter A of the The New Book of Knowledge. I read it from cover to cover, devouring the information. Then, every month, a new book would be delivered and I’d gleefully sit in our wing back chair in the living room, book open on my lap, and let it take me away to worlds unknown. I am so much of a geek that I even remember reading every word of the two supplementary books, two full volumes of their dictionary. While most of those books have been gone for years, sold at a random garage sale because my Dad didn’t want to move all those heavy “dust collectors” to our new house, I still have those two books sitting on one of my shelves. I took them down today and that white leather with the gold tree emblazened on a field of dark royal blue was like the face of a childhood friend. (Told you I was a geek!)
We live an absolutely amazing age of information. For someone like me who loves to learn it’s like a dream come true. But it also reminds me of one of my favourite Twilight Zone episodes; Time Enough to Last. Burgess Meredith is simply amazing as a man who loves to read but can never get the time. The apocalypse happens and he finds himself in a library with all the time in the world, only to have his glasses fall off and break.