By Stacy S. Jensen
Since I'm trying to stay focused this month, I'm going to be on #TeamHelpfulTool.
Full disclosure: I could be the poster child for a distracted Internet user. I fall down my fair share of rabbit holes.
While working on a non-fiction, picture book biography, I was able to use the Internet to:
- Track down specialized books on my subject. Thank you Worldcat.org.
- Search large and specialty online bookstores for title availability.
- Purchase title from an historical society. They had a small online. Instead of calling them or having to put a check in the mail for the book, I was able to find the title and order it in a few moments and outside of their business hours, but during mine.
- Conduct several Internet searches for my research subject.
- Collect digital copies of files. I'm sort of old school creating PDFs and saving links via email. If I were really tech savvy, I might use Evernote or my Trello boards to collect this data. Babysteps. I am working towards this.
- Use EasyBib to create a bibliography to track my sources.
Of course, after all my online tasks, I went offline to read books and take notes. Soon, I'll make an in-person trip to my subject's last home. While some of this could be accomplished via online research, I'm grateful for the opportunity to visit in person. Plus, I will see how a writer many decades ago lived and worked before the Internet and running water.
I try to use the Internet for good whether it's asking for the perfect owl name for a fiction story or speaking with writers on a daily basis about their stories and the process.
The Internet is a good thing for me.
How do you use the Internet to write? What's your most helpful tool?
About the Author: Stacy S. Jensen worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for two decades. Today, she writes picture books and revises a memoir manuscript. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and son.