Why Writers Can’t Disconnect From The Internet

The Internet. A glorious place, yet also very dangerous as it will distract you from your writing and before you know it you’re taking a Buzzfeed quiz about what kind of dragon you are instead of writing about said dragons (do they have a quiz like that though? I must take it…).

So our non-writer friends ask us: why don’t you just disconnect from the Internet? Well, my dear non-writer friends, here’s why:

Sometimes when you’re writing you’re wondering how something works. Or if it’s even possible

Google can be (one of) your best friends while writing. Sometimes you need that pie recipe, or the rules of tennis, or how long it takes before someone dies when hit by a *insert weapon* in *insert body part*.

I say while I Google that third, more ominous option (though I’m actually more like ‘I’M A WRITER DON’T ARREST ME’)

We all like to pretend that we have a great memory and a mind-palace like Sherlock, but sometimes our memory fails us

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t remember that one word. So Google it is, then. Though of course it also happens that you don’t even know how to describe said word, and then even Google can’t help you.

We feel the need to tweet about our writing

Sometimes you type something weird and feel the need to share that on Twitter so your friends can laugh with you. Other times you can express your frustrations and hope that your writer friends understand. Point is, talking about your writing with others is FUN! Not to mention sometimes we need a break, and Twitter is less addicting than Tumblr (for me at least).

How do I describe this??? HOW DO I EVEN WRITE

Thankfully there are plenty of websites and blog posts to help you with this! Like this useful character description resource, a list of character traitsΒ or a mythical creatures list for the fantasy writers among us.

”He said that mysteriously.” he said mysteriously

Sometimes you find yourself using the same word(s) over and over again. This is when the holy website ThesaurusΒ comes in handy (I’m sure there are other good synonym sites too. This is the one I love to use).

Don’t worry. Thesaurus is your other best friend

When you want to make a joke about the Smurfs but you’re not sure if Smurfin is called ‘Smurfette’ in English

And then you end up reading all about the Smurfs and reliving your childhood.

Me realising that I’m reading about THE SMURFS instead of WRITING which I should be doing


Same with books, films, games etc. It’s very awkward when you write that your character is dancing to Shake It Off in 1989 (ha! See what I did there?).

Your readers most likely

These are some of the reasons why we writers can’t just simply disconnect from the Internet. WE NEED IT. Not just to distract ourselves when we find ourselves staring at our screens not knowing what to do, but to look things up! To make our writing believable and better! Do you know any other reasons? Let me know in the comments!


31 thoughts on “Why Writers Can’t Disconnect From The Internet

  1. Oh gosh yes! I have stuff like ‘things that look like dried blood’ in my search history. Ahem. Tip of the Tongue usually works for me when I’m trying to remember a word. :) Or, you know, I’ll just go around asking people ominously vague questions.

  2. Freaking truth. ALL OF THIS XD I usually end up looking things up like “what kinds of acids can dissolve a dead body” and this is basically an open invitation to arrest me…but hey. Crime/urban fiction can be fun to write sometimes ;)

    Poodles of blood, here we comeee. Lovely post <3

    • YAY I’M NOT ALONE :D Haha yeah it wouldn’t surprise me if one day there’s a headline: ‘Woman/Man Claims To Be Just A Writer – Googled Suspicious Ways To Get Rid of Dead Bodies’ or something haha XD
      Thank you <3

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  4. The internet is so distracting! I find it can sometimes be really helpful to go back to doing things the old fashioned way and use reference books or a thesaurus for help rather than the Internet when I’m struggling to stay focused. It takes a bit longer but I like how tactile it is and how I can have everything in front of me at once. I say this having actually written very little of my potential novels over he last few years but it was really good for essays and school work which presents kinda the same problems even if it’s less fun! X

    • I have some reference books, but sadly not on every topic, nor do I have a thesaurus :( So sadly I have to depend on the internet haha I’ll keep an eye out for a cheap thesaurus though, I can’t believe I had never thought of that XD Thanks for the tip!

      • Charity shops quite often have them as people tend to get rid of them in favour of the Internet! Dictionaries are weirdly useful as well. I’ve found some really gorgeous old clothbound ones before which as much as anything just look lovely on the shelf and I like having them even if I don’t use them loads :)

  5. Reblogged this on Anne Hagan and commented:
    Sometimes I feel like I spend a lot of time researching crazy stuff… If I ever get in trouble with the law myself, like so many of my characters do, I hope I think to trash my computer, iPad, smartphone… oh hell, forget it. I’ll just have to explain that I’m a writer! I’ve looked up too much law, asked too many questions, and have otherwise looked up too much totally illegal stuff to be anything but a writer.

    Then there are those times when the email icon pops up or a short break turns into an hour of surfing that is writing time lost forever. I know how the writing Hufflepuff feels in her post here. If you’re a writer, you’ll probably see yourself in it too.

  6. Wonderful post! I’ve reblogged it because it rings so true, I know many of my fellow writers can identify. I echo the sentiments of those above who said their browsing history could get them arrested. If anyone around me dies of anything unnatural, I’ll be in a lot of hot water. I don’t think there’s anything illegal that I haven’t looked up. There should be some sort of cookie that authors could have exclusively that tells the cops, “Just an author doing research; pay no mind.”

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