YA Writing

How Far We’ve Come

Do you remember the day you discovered the Internet? I do. I was working for a graphic designer and he had a computer. A computer I had access to use. In those days, you had to load 10-20 square disks to install a program, such as Ami Pro, WordPerfect, or Quickbooks. Now it all happens with the click of a link. I remember only a few (counting on one hand) websites back then: AOL, CompuServe and NetNoir. These were places I frequented to ‘meet’ people online. That excitement led me to change careers from TV news reporting to web producing.

But I don’t want to talk about technology as much as I want to wax rhapsodic about the world technology has literally expanded for us, both good and bad. True there is a lot of junk online. No I take that back — a lot of disgusting, filth and trash. But for those of us who avoid that kind of thing, the Internet has been a time-saver, an educator and an accelerator.

As a time-saver, the Internet allows me to find things I need to buy or investigate. I don’t have to go to the actual store and browse. Granted I still like to window shop and the Internet cannot really help me touch the clothes or smell the fruit. And even though it can save me time in my search  for books at the library (I can search Dekalb County locations and reserve my books) I still go to the actual LIBRARY to borrow them.

As an educator, the Internet has exposed me to resources I need in order to understand my field better — be it project management or writing. I can find lots of blogs and other sites hosted by folks like myself who share vital information.

And finally as an accelerator, the Internet brings me in touch with the organizations I want to join in order to meet the people I want to know and a very short period of time. I find it amazing that if I did not have this resource, I would never have met my book illustrator in Duluth, Minnesota or my critique partner in New Brunswick, Canada, or my book cover designer in India. In addition, I wouldn’t have become aware of organizations like the Society for Children s Book Writers and Illustrators or the Georgia Writers Association, and everybody they know. So I guess I’m saying that the Internet has been a wealth of useful information in my life these past 20 years and I am grateful to have the help, and to see how far we’ve come.


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