As I'm writing this, my computer has 8 tabs open in Chrome and 15 open Word documents. Two of my tabs are different e-mail accounts. One of my accounts has 5,087 e-mails and the other has 397 e-mails. My Pinterest Account is much the same. 4,600 pins on writing, and 1,700 pins on writing prompts. Don't even get me started on research for books, marketing, publishing, or other facets of writing. I have boards for those too.
There have been times I've looked at my in-box and felt disgusted. Why not delete anything over a month old, or just wipe it clean and start all over again? What sane person would have nearly 6,000 e-mails in their in-box??
Then I look closer at the subject lines. How Publishing Really Works. [ANWA Chapter Officers] Digest Number 882. ANWA Founders and Friends. NW Writers Retreat. Daily Scrivener Tip. Your Daily e-Book deals. And the list goes on.
Before the internet, I would hoard articles that I thought were significant, creating file after file of information I wanted to learn or remember. Now, in the digital age, my piles are (theoretically) smaller. Instead, I have digital files and big fat e-mail accounts brimming with articles I hope to read. The idea of missing opportunities to learn and better my craft, or to gleen motivation and friendship from other writers scares me. There's so much to learn, and so many people to learn from. And I don't want to miss a bit of it!
That desire to learn causes me to whittle away at that long list of e-mails, or the sky-high tower of 'to-read' books beside my bed. It keeps me up long past my bedtime, and often well into the wee hours of the morning.
At times it's tedious, and exhausting. Other times it's fascinating. Still others I'm exhilarated. Whatever the outcome, writing has been nothing, if not totally and utterly fulfilling.
So, I guess I'll keep those massive lists of e-mails, slowly sifting through and filing the articles away as I read them. Occasionally even (gasp!) deleting those that don't apply. I may not have enough hours in the day to devote to writing the way I want to, but by golly, I will never run out of articles to read on the topic!