I wonder if writers of yore would have accomplished half their writings if they had the Internet? Would Shakespeare have finished Hamlet if he could watch stupid people do stupid things on YouTube? Would Wilde have written The Importance of Being Earnest if he could keep up with all of his friends, fans, and strangers on Facebook? Or perhaps the more interesting question would be, how would those works have been different if today's technology was available to ye olde writers?
I have this fear that if Facebook existed way back when, we wouldn't know the name of Oscar Wilde or CS Lewis or Orson Scott Card. And likewise, I fear that I may be the Aaron Sorkin That Never Was.
I come to my office with the best of intentions. "I am going to finish X today!" Let me check my e-mail, my Facebook, my Twitter and CNN real quick and then I'll get started . . . ooh, what's Neil Gaiman saying over on his blog . . . ooh, what theories on LOST are people postulating today . . . I wonder if Spider-Man has gotten better yet . . . four hours later . . . "Well, time to head off to work and/or bed!"
The solution to this, of course, absolutely terrifies me. I could buy a typewriter and seal myself off in Spare Oom. Far, far away from the Internet and her Siren call of Fascinating Distractions. "No!" My brain says, "no, don't be absurd. Discipline is the thing! Moderation!"
Now I have 45 minutes till I have to leave for work and I still need a shower and I still need to make lunch and I still have to figure out what I'm going to wear.
Guess the prologue is going to have to wait.