If you want to see all of this picture, go on over to the Wet Noodle Posse blog where today I’m blogging about conflict. (And if you’ve ever wondered, when you google for Darcy wet shirt you will come up with about 102,000 hits and 16, 700 under google images.)

So is it too easy?

We have so much information at our fingertips and the actual process of writing itself is so easy–cut n paste, cut, copy, and so on–that I wonder if we’ve lost something in the process. Consider Jane Austen who had limited amounts of time (well, that hasn’t changed much), and wrote in a room that was shared by family members. Paper was expensive. It was important to get things right the first time–or almost right. How many of us would have started writing without a computer? (To answer my own question: I’m not really sure.)

I think the challenges we have now (along with the same old same old of lack of time, family obligations, and having to make a living as well–or relying on someone else to do so) are more insidious. Do we suffer from a surfeit of riches–too many resources, too much advice, and do you think it’s harmful?

It seems ironic that writing, an essentially solo operation, now has become a community, if not team, activity. It’s much easier to talk about writing than do, too easy to go online to see what others are saying and thinking. Some is useful. A lot, in my opinion, is damaging.

For one thing, it stops you from writing, from actually doing the work. And I’m one of the worst offenders, ever. The temptation to just hop over to see what’s happening at a blog (this one, say) and then you follow a few links and before you know it hours have sped by… The other point is that not all information is equal, particularly online where opinion and information seem to overlap; where the trivial and the significant get mixed into one big internet stew.

And the worst thing of all–if you take too seriously what others are doing or saying, you can lose faith in your own work. Actually, two worst things of all. Take all the advice, or try to, and you’ll end up with something lifeless that just isn’t good enough.

So what do you do to protect yourself and spend your time wisely? What are your favorite places online that you feel are useful and reliable? And do you feel the need to limit your time online, and if so, how do you do it?