How Important is an Online Presence for a Writer?

Do you find it difficult to make friends online? I know I do.  Actually, being an introvert, I have never been the outgoing type that makes a passel of friends.  It has never really bothered me either, but as a writer it does hamper me.  I think that having a good network of writer friends is helpful.  You can swap critiques, talk about your publishing woes, or just talk about writing in general.  I’ve been involved with online writer sites and groups, and have had very good experiences with both.  The problem is that I don’t want to spend that much time online.  Is this a bad thing for a writer?

I think it all changed for me when I switched to an office job. When I had a job where I worked outside for much of the day, I didn’t mind spending time online in the evening, but when I started working on the computer all day, it was much harder to get on my machine when I got home. Or maybe it’s an age thing.  I didn’t grow up online like my kids did—I still prefer face-to-face communications.  Or maybe I don’t want to spend so much time online because of all the other options vying for my time.  Online time must compete with books, television, Playstation, gardening, walking in the evening, and spending time with the family.

Whatever the reason, I find that I don’t want to spend my evenings on the computer. This has not only affected my online presence, but has also hampered my writing time.  I typically try to write during my lunch hour every day, but I find it hard to get on the computer in the evening to do some more writing.  Is it just me?

Anyway, I think it would be nice to have a non-office job—get away from the computer during the day so it’s easier to work on it at night. Actually, my most productive time is in the middle of the day.  It would be nice to have that time to write.  I wonder if I should look for an afternoon or evening job.

As I stated earlier, I’m an old . . . I prefer face-to-face communication. Luckily, when I moved to Charlotte about a year and a half ago, I hit the jackpot.  Charlotte has a very active writer community with several groups to choose from.  I’ve joined a few writers groups and am involved with a couple of critique groups.  I have met several other writers that share my passion.  I wonder if there is a better way to capture this type of immediacy online.