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The Web habits of highly effective literary people

May 14, 2008 | 11:03 am


Sitting in a Paris cafe can be highly effective. That is, as far as journalist-author Andrew Hussey and Granta are concerned.

Granta magazine asked a bunch of literary types, from publishers to bloggers, how they make the web work for them. Hussey has, perhaps, the most enviable lifestyle: He throws a laptop into his rucksack and bikes to local Paris cafes to tap in. Another journalist is more disciplined: He opens exactly six tabs in Firefox every morning (apparently, like some of us, he didn't leave a hectic array open the night before).

Litblogger Maud Newton has a pretty hectic lifestyle, abetted by her iPhone addiction. She writes:

The very ADD impulses that enable me to blog the way I do tend to hamstring larger projects, like the novel I’m writing, the review that’s coming due, the day-job work. No doubt this is true of most people who keep weblogs for fun rather than for profit — a dying pursuit, apparently. What still excites me about the Internet is that it facilitates endless foraging, and not only courtesy of my favorite blogs and newspapers. As more publications and critics go digital, I find myself sampling the offerings of literary magazines, squandering hours in the Harper’s archives (which stretch back to 1850!), formulating ever more intricate and passionate dissents....

More habits, both good and compulsive, here.

Carolyn Kellogg

photo of the Cafe de Floré in Paris by sergeymk via Flickr