Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm a Writer and I don't Support PIPA or SOPA

I'll be honest right up front. I don't know all the tiny details surrounding these controversial legislative deals. I do know that the strike in response to it shut down Wikipedia yesterday. I was in the middle of trying to find out some details about San Franciscan history (circa 1903, anyone?) and every link led to Wikipedia. GRRRRR!
What I do know is that at some point--so help me--I'm going to have a book published. Though I have a fond wish for it to be a breakout novel that everyone loves and becomes a bestseller in the blink of an eye, it's unlikely that will happen. Which means my tools for spreading the word about it will rely HEAVILY on social media sites. Sure, there are sites that might pirate my work and make it available online for free. (Um, that might actually be kind of flattering, don't you think?) That's a risk I'll take to get my name out there.
I'm also a stay at home mom with a three year old in tow wherever I go. That means when I'm researching a historical novel, I can't spend hours at the library pouring through books on the shelves. I need internet resources. 
I happen to live in a fairly isolated section of the country. That means there's a good chance my small-town public library won't have what I need anyway.
Surprise, surprise, I'm not rich either. (Yet.) That means I can't hop on a plane to San Francisco (or London or wherever my latest historical takes place) to do research. 
All those tiny bits of information I glean all over the place might disappear if something like SOPA or PIPA goes through. 
And if I have to live in a society that censors my freedom to find information, there's a risk I'll write a novel about it.

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