Internet is relatively new. When the smartphone market exploded, it brought with it a new dimension. Combined with high-speed internet and easy access, you could do things on your small screen - which would otherwise require a plethora of other apps, hardware or investment.
Take a calculator, for example - you could do many scientific calculations on your smartphone, often without the internet. And it’s just a start to what a marvel technology has been. Doesn’t matter what you want, there is an answer on the internet. Why? Because suddenly, 7 billion minds are connected to help you in any way possible.
The origin of the internet was simple - two computers should be able to talk with each other. And now, it has grown into a mammoth of information storage. All of humanity’s knowledge is stored in a giant warehouse and every computer can access it whenever they like. Consider, Wikipedia - it is essentially the collection of all human intelligence in one place. And for it to be made, you don’t have to be genius. You just have to contribute a few things you can help in. When all of us help, it becomes a giant shared knowledge. This is real-world magic.
Before computers, books were often written by hand or a typewriter. And that used to be the norm. But now, there are sleek laptops. And many variations of keyboards available. Combine this with the instant grammar check and flow validity, it feels like you are working with your first editor simultaneously.
Of course, for many writers - where to write is a preference. But writing online seems the most logical way. Your work is automatically saved on the cloud, basic grammar edits are done on the fly. And sharing your work for feedback is easy.
Ultimately your work has to be online. Because now, most of the work is done via computers. So it’s better to write it online from the first day itself. And there are many benefits to writing online. You can write in groups - sharing your progress and getting feedback along the way.
The friction is less and doing all the juggling to collaborate is a simple feature available in many tools as a free option. So much of the premium features back in the day is now a standard free feature on many websites and tools - it’s like a hack. For example, you get basic grammar edits for free in the Grammarly app. Google docs have the best collaborators feature for free. You don’t have to buy their premium apps. The best experience of writing is online and so are the benefits.
Extension Of Your Brain
Memorizing was a skill. If you can remember lots of things then you were a genius. But now, thanks to the internet and easy access, you don’t have to remember a lot of things.
Of course, you should remember basic things to go about your day. Or some things get remembered in your brain because you find it amusing. But the rest can be looked up. For example, how to go to a certain destination, what is the history of this place and so on? The genius of you comes to the picture when you have to do something with the knowledge - maybe analyze, deduce or connect things.
Therefore, in your writing craft, sure you need to know how to craft good enough sentences and have the creative perspective to write what you want to write. But you can look up places to take inspiration, take help to come up with creative names and plot a graph of your story online for easy reference.
Because writing a book is a lengthy process and you don’t want to miss out on characters or plot-lines you have developed. At this point, it would be putting yourself under strain if you don’t use the extension of your brain - the smartphone in your back pocket.
Possibilities Of The Internet
Publishing your book is a painful task - often more difficult than writing the book. Especially if you are a first-time author. The publication house receives tonnes of submission. And often, they don’t have the manpower to go through all the manuscripts. So they hire interns to sort them. So, if your book’s 2 chapter sample doesn’t entice an intern then it has no chance of seeing any eyes of an editor.
As painful as it may sound, this is the truth. But regardless, you should try to reach out and get your book reviewed by an editor, if you can. The feedback alone is worth the hustle. But what if your book is ultimately rejected.
Not to worry, the internet ensures that there is a service to either digitally publish your book. Or get it printed on demand. So, you can get your book to your fans. And if you don’t have fans, you have to do the marketing. Which you would do even if your book was traditionally published. The drawback of this is that anyone can publish the book on the internet. And therein lies the beauty, anyone is able to publish their book on the internet.
Writing Pet Peeves
If you ask your favourite writer about their pen/laptop because you want to write like them. Then you are in for a bummer. Because it isn’t the tools that make them good. It’s their writing, perspectives, analogy and their unique experiences. All of which you either have or can develop. But most of them aren’t tied to you because you have a specific set of tools. Now, that we have this out of our way. It’s okay if you have your certain placebos. And if it helps you then why not.
For example, when writing on my laptop I feel inspired if the font in which I am typing is pleasing to look at. Or if there is some soft noise playing in the background. Or if there is a deadline under which I need to submit my work.
All of this may sound like placebos because often they are. But if it works for you then take full advantage of it. And on the internet, you can get whatever type of setting helps you flow your creative juices.
Do you want a white background or black background or some fancy colour while you write - we have got you covered. Should the font be big or small - should the total word count be shown or hidden. Whatever helps you can be done better on the internet and you should take full advantage of it. Since you are a writer - you got no time to lose.
Every Stage Of Your Writing
Writing often involves many stages:
- Idea creation - you need to think of a story with a thin plotline that makes sense and has some reward in the end.
- The length of your book - should it be standalone or a series.
- The place where you will write your book.
- Are you going to co-write your book or take help?
- Researching about anything and everything when you are stuck at some page 46.
- Getting your word out and building a following so some people are excited when your bok comes out.
- Publishing your book - as a means to put it out and have a mechanism to get paid.
- Promoting your book, so it reaches a decent number of people who might be interested in your book.
Internet is growing day by day - as in the technological advances are exponential. Because that’s how innovation works. Now, the hype is about the blockchain and the developments have already begun. Maybe it evolves into something big or falls flat.
Doesn’t matter, the internet will keep bringing new ideas to life. And as a writer who often goes deep into magical lands and philosophical dilemma, you should embrace the magical wave of the internet and go deep into it to find the moral conflict and narratives.
The best thing that can happen to you as an author is your writing touches the people you intended it for. And as human civilization, the latest best thing that has happened is the internet and its web of things.
May you get all your success, hope and thrill you seek in your world and the internet becomes a stepping stone to your greater heights.
This Is Internet by Rohan Bhardwaj is available now via Internet.