What am I surfing for tonight, Internet?

Insomnia keeps me up, or  wakes me up after an hour or two. I ask myself what I am looking for as I go voraciously reading wherever I can.

There is no capacity for actually doing something useful right now. Trust me.

Answers

Someone to talk to.

Someone whose blog has interesting things on it – that I haven’t read yet.

Readers on WordPress or Wattpad who have read my stories and leave a comment, especially one that says how well I write and how much they love my characters.

There ARE a few others, but fewer than 10% are even partially negative.

But there aren’t enough to keep me in nightly happiness.

Something to read that I absolutely have to read right now, or the world will come to and end.

Something that will coax me toward writing or work during the day, sleep at night.

Reader love.

Intelligent co-stroking.

A place to leave intelligent comments that hasn’t barred me.

Funny stuff.

I have no idea.

I’ll know it when I see it.

What are YOU looking for tonight?

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15 thoughts on “What am I surfing for tonight, Internet?

  1. livelytwist

    Ah the freedom to roam and surf the internet *sigh*
    My time is fully assigned, even the occasional insomnia time o_O
    I hope your journey is as eventful as your destination. Happy reading.

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    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      I have to admit the journey has been fascinating, and I have ‘learned’ (read quickly, and bookmarked) hundreds of things I will need to self-publish. That’s the good part.

      The bad part is that I will probably still have to research each of these concepts – the random occurrence isn’t necessarily the best place to provide the information.

      The ‘gotcha!’ of life is that when you have plenty of time, you may not have enough energy to breathe, much less do something productive with it.

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  2. roo3story (@roo3story)

    When I was young, I haunted the libraries. I read a lot of thin books of spies, mystery, noir. I grew tired of what I had seemed to start browsing, seeing similar shapes and storylines to some of the genres I loved.

    I stopped fiction reading, at least, for a long, long time.

    When the internet began more accesible, around 1996, I went to a poetry listserv and ‘learned’ the internet. I learned to write poetry–which I never read, meself, but do so now, from time to time, having moved to stories on Wattpad instead. I’m very NON genre, I supposed. I just like stories that read well and talking to users that write.

    I heavily breathed the air of Amazon publishing and decided to wait and see as too many changes were taking place at the moment I arrived and I felt not like being fodder for an Amazon experiment, just at the time, and presently post my shite on WP. I’ve been there, studying people and process for about three years. I hate poorly formed thoughts and people who abuse privilege. I speak my mind, not someone else’s.

    I’m a scout. I like to scout people out and put likely, (and UNlikely) users together.

    Hey Hi.

    Rob

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    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Hi, Rob. Welcome.

      Have you gone back to Amazon – are you writing for publication now? Wattpad is an interesting place – I’ve made good friends there.

      Writing and writing for publication can be two very different things.

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  3. J.M. Ney-Grimm

    Hah!

    I remember 2010 when my sister-in-law (whom I adore) visited and checked her email and other online communication several times each day. I was amazed and never dreamed that I might follow in her footsteps. That was before I’d heard of indie publishing. I was writing and telling myself that I’d worry about finding a publisher after I finished the book. Thank goodness I learned about the indie world before I ever started the query-go-round!

    Now, I too check my email and blog comments, etc. several times each day. 😉

    And late at night, when I’m tired and my perspective is blurred, I feel the temptation to see if there are any new sales or any new reviews. Most times I give in to temptation.

    I used to check only once a week on Tuesdays. The thing that broke my resolve, oddly enough, was getting more sales. When you sell only 2 – 5 copies a month, there’s no point in checking. On most days there will not be a sale. When you sell 10 – 20 copies a month, on any given day there might be a sale. Hard to not check and see if there is!

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    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      I get sucked into it, paradoxically, when I have no energy to make a good decision – which is my usual state after about 7PM. It is usually the wrong decision.

      I’m exploring with myself what the heck I’m looking for so assiduously.

      I hate going to sleep.

      I hate being disconnected from my conscious brain.

      I need both those things. Sigh.

      And I’m not even published yet! It’s going to get worse, isn’t it?

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      1. J.M. Ney-Grimm

        It’s going to get worse, isn’t it?

        W-e-l-l…probably.

        I must agree that my own surrender to the internet when tired is not a good decision.

        Like you and others posting on this topic, I’m mentally/emotionally hungry for something – I don’t really know what. I almost think the hunger is really just a symptom of fatigue. I don’t have enough physical/mental energy to sustain interest in analog experience, nor do I have enough to generate my own entertainment.

        So I go looking outside myself for fulfillment.

        But even when I find it, it’s like cotton candy: an intense burst of sensation followed by the feeling that I’ve not really received anything. There is no satiation.

        What is lacking is my ability to receive and retain. Which means that nothing will satisfy after the ephemeral moment of encounter is over.

        The wise choice would be to sleep. The wise choice is extraordinarily difficult to make sometimes. 😉

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        1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          The reason has to do with a basic principle of behavior modification: the strongest possible reinforcement for a behavior is a long-term, intermittent reward. This is exactly what the internet provides. Surf long and hard, and every once in a while, in an unpredictable way, you find a nugget so valuable is makes all the time searching worth it. This happens a couple of times – you’re hooked, and keep looking for that reward – for extremely long times.

          I’ll have to go look up my reinforcement information. I’m sure there’s a way to reinforce the opposite. My go to book is Don’t Shoot the Dog, by Karen Pryor.

          The problem with doing it is that it is very hard to reinforce your own behavior, when you are the person who rewards, and the one who receives the reward at the same time. If someone gave me something special every time I mastered my surfing tendency, even long-term intermittently, I’d always be leaving the internet, hoping tonight was the night.

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  4. Stacy

    Sometimes — especially on a nice summer evening, so completely irrelevant now — I want to quit the internet cold turkey, because I feel like I’m clicking on things obsessively. “Feed me, feed me, feed me!” I can’t even remember how I used to obsess 20 years ago. It can’t have been as entertaining.

    Hope you got some good rest and are writing like mad today.

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    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      I am, indeed writing – thanks.

      We used to watch too much TV, especially after they stopped turning it off for the night. Before that, I remember reading a lot of books late at night – and staying up too late, just to finish them.

      But the internet has definitely altered our behavior. ‘Feed me’ is a good image.

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    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Are you able to physically get out and move around? I think that would help a lot – some of the twitchiness is physical energy.

      Sleep hygiene – turning the computer off, not doing things that are too brain-intensive, watching what you eat – are all supposed to help, if you use them and you WANT to use them.

      It doesn’t address the feeling of ‘not enough time for everything!’ that drives me to keep looking.

      I know I just have to block the internet more of the time – and do all those things you’re supposed to do – maybe I will one day.

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