Remember what life was like before the Internet was opened up to the public? I certainly do. Though it has its bad aspects, such as child pornography and scams, society has benefited from easy access to information.
I certainly have benefited from my nineteen years of Internet use. When I took a business writing course in 1995, I was able to use the public library’s bulletin board service for my research. I had taken distance-learning courses before but using my computer to glean information made the process so much easier for me.
The addition of e-mail in November of that year helped even more. Being on disability, the savings on stamps helped me buy food and other necessities. In fact, I became angry at magazine editors who refused to allow work to be sent in on magnetic media or via e-mail. Things are much different now. It’s rare when editors expect writers to send in paper copies of their work to a magazine.
Newsgroups were a big help to me in my writing as well as for personal interests. Though trolls often made a nuisance of themselves, I still enjoyed the ease of posting to my friends regarding my favorite subjects. Additionally, I received some good leads from writers to magazines which I could query regarding my article ideas.
Accessing magazine web sites also helped me greatly. Instead of pouring over paper magazines to find out which sort of stories they liked to publish, I could download their guidelines at home. Though I used to spend afternoons at the public library, I saved some time by checking out publications on the web.
For my writing and personal endeavors, the Internet has been a boon. Through it, I’ve been able to research article ideas, query magazines, and even upload my books to the publishers. I would hate to go back to the days of having to visit a library to do research and sending out paper correspondence. Thanks to this wonderful technology, I can sit at home and have more time to work.
All three of my paperbacks were uploaded digitally to the publisher’s web sites. The first two memoirs are available from the Bruce Atchison’s book page. How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity is for sale at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell’s Books.