Why am I at Panera? The whole sleepy world is my oyster, I could go anywhere. So why am I sitting in a Panera? One, I like their food. More importantly, however, is the fact that they offer free WiFi at Panera.
If you’re the kind of person who frequently enters establishments laptop in tow, you quickly come to appreciate the gift of free WiFi that connects without a fuss and works the way it’s supposed to.
Have you ever sat down at a cafe with your laptop and opened it up only to realize there’s no WiFi? You feel like you paddled out to the middle of the lake but then lost your oars.
Or, you go somewhere that offers free WiFi but then it doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. You’re sitting there with your hot coffee and your pastry, at the complete mercy of a router that has, for unfathomable reasons, decided to flip you the bird.
You could make the argument that a writer doesn’t need an Internet connection in order to write. I have writing friends who make a compelling argument for increased focus and productivity in the purposeful absence of an Internet connection.
I suppose it just depends on your style. I rarely know where a book is going to take me, and I love doing research at the moment. If I’m going to write a scene about an explosion, for example, I want to look up the different kinds of explosives and their ignition points while I’m in the middle of the scene. I feel like it informs me on the circumstances, which then means I can figure out how my characters will react.
But that’s just me. Many authors are capable of doing their research beforehand and actually plotting out their stories before they start. Others don’t need to do so much research because they are already subject matter experts in the fields in which they write.
As for me? Give me WiFi or give me, um, frustration I guess?
I feel like this post is all the proof you’d ever need to establish that I have, indeed, become one of those people who panics if they don’t have WiFi. I’m sure when SkyNet inevitably becomes sentient and we all have to answer to our computer overlords, I’ll be one of many who asks, “Okay, but will we still have WiFi?”