Kindles: Writer’s Best Friend, or Worst Enemy?

My boyfriend asked me if I want a Kindle for Hanukkah this year. “What?” I responded, almost offended. “Why?”

I felt horrible immediately, because he was just trying to be attentive. You see, I’ve been reading a lot lately, and he thought this would support those efforts.

I then lovingly told him how I once swore I would NEVER own a Kindle. When I read a book, I want to hold it in my hand, feel the cover, flip through the pages.

There’s just something extra relaxing about taking a break from technology when you read. And in this day and age, there’s almost a romantic aspect to the printed word (which I miss, more and more). If I became a Kindle-owner, I’d become a traitor to my kind: traditional writers everywhere.

But then my boyfriend said something to me:

“I think Kindles have revitalized our society’s interest in reading novels. Without Kindles, I don’t think people would read as much. We wouldn’t be as literate.”

Hmm. Pretty darn good point.

Friend or Foe?

That got me thinking. Americans love their gadgets. I mean seriously, our own president has claimed addiction to his Blackberry. Every time a new iPhone comes out, people storm the stores. We don’t just want computers, we want T.V.s, phones, and newspapers all wrapped into one.

So, is it possible that Kindles have reignited our country’s excitement over literature?

  • We hear a lot of talk about the fall of book publishing.
  • Hardbacks are giving way to e-books.
  • Authors are expected to market themselves more and more.
  • I’ve heard mutters that writers (novelists and authors) may someday become obsolete.

But is that really true?

Is it possible that, because of Kindles, novelists and authors may still have a very solid future? Perhaps, the Kindle is securing our ability to be relevant in this technology-driven world. And taking this one step further, perhaps without gadgets like the Kindle, writers would be struggling more than ever.

Now I’m reconsidering. Maybe I would like to try a Kindle for Hanukkah.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Is the Kindle helping secure our relevancy as writers, novelists and authors? Or is it helping to kill our profession, our craft, and our demand?

Top 8 Reasons to STEP AWAY from the Computer

Back in April, a pack of wild teenagers stole my laptop computer right from the desk in my home.

You can read about that fateful day from my post, “Burglars Beware! Why to NEVER Rob a Writer’s Home.” However, as angry (and scared) as I was when it happened, I learned something that day:

Taking time away from the world of technology was refreshing—and amazing for my writing. I urge everyone to lose their computer for a week (I was out nearly a month) and see what I mean.

Here are my top eight reasons why you should STEP AWAY from the computer for once:

1. You see the world again. I mean, you really SEE it.

 

 

 

 

2. You sleep better, and deeper, and calmer.

 

 

 

 

 

3. You’re not as stressed from constantly being “plugged in.”

 

 

 

 

4. You have more time to exercise and cook healthy meals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. You concentrate on YOU, not what everyone else is doing.

 

 

 

 

 

6. Your mind can relax and regenerate, which = more creativity.

 

 

 

 

 

7. You read a book—the old-fashioned way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. And finally, your writing improves. Not just a little, but A LOT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes, as ambitious writers, we forget that the most important aspect of writing, is living. And although the computer is a significant piece of building our names, we cannot let it consume our lives.

I CHALLENGE YOU: Leave your computer at a trusted friend’s for a week, and take away the temptation. Then tell us the outcome … Are you up for it?

**All photos displayed are the copywritten property of Shari Lopatin (except the books photo, which was borrowed from Google Images), and cannot be copied, reproduced, or printed without written consent from Shari Lopatin.**

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Internetics Anonymous—Creative Minds: Beware

The world of psychiatry has a new addiction disorder to jumble our brains even more. And creative minds: beware.

It’s called “Internet Addiction Disorder.” I read about this new baby from an article published by Norton Cybercrime News called, “Is Your Social Media Habit Really an Addiction?

Apparently, if your grades or job performance suffer because of your time spent online, you withdraw from friends or family to go on Facebook and Twitter, or you’re filled with self-loathing for the time spent using social media—you’re hooked!

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that people have the power to broadcast themselves,” said psychologist David Greenfield in the article. Greenfield is the founder of The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction in West Hartford, Conn.

Really? There’s an entire center devoted to this issue? It must be pretty serious then, which makes me contemplate another aspect of our ability to create as writers.

Has the Internet and social media added to our creativity, or killed it?

Hello, my name is Shari Lopatin, and I’m an internetic.

We have alcoholics, and drug addicts . . . and now it seems, we have internetics. I propose, since we’ve gone as far to develop a center for Internet addiction, we take the next step (well, 12 steps actually).

Internetics Anonymous.

As part of our first session, I’d like to ask my fellow writing internetics to consider the following:

  1. How much time every day do you spend online, creating your own work?
  2. How much time every day do you spend consuming or viewing other information online?
  3. After spending time on Facebook, Twitter, or the blogosphere, do you generally feel drained or inspired?

With these questions in mind, here’s my challenge to you: First off, read the short Norton article, as it gives more facts and insight than I did. But secondly, I want you to really consider HOW you spend your time online, and if it’s adding to your creativity, or taking away. If it’s killing your writing libido, I dare you to cut back your computer activities at least an hour a day, for the next week.

So tell me, are you an internetic?

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