These days, most of our precious writing usually ends up online, where it is relentlessly scrutinized by robots. Not the sparky “Danger, Will Robinson, danger!” kind of robots, but invisible little computer gremlins that furrow through the internet, looking for text to gnaw on. That way, if you go to Google and search for — oh, I don’t know, maybe “You Can Write a Novel” — there’s a chance you might find my humble little corner of the internet.
What this means to writers today is that it’s crucial that we learn about arcane things like keywords, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and why graphics aren’t searchable. I’m not suggesting you set out to write something completely driven by keywords, lest your timeless prose read a little too Macho Business Donkey Wrestler.
But whatever we write, we have to be cognizant of how people will find it on the internet, and then come up with ways to make finding it easier. Is it fair? No. But it’s a reality of the 21st century. Just like the blank look I get from the local office supply dude every time I need a new typewriter ribbon. (Every. Stinkin’. Time.) But hey, I look at it as a creative challenge.
And after all, isn’t that what we face every time we write?