I think it’s interesting what it means to be a writer. The other day I was thinking about it, and I thought ‘You know what? I actually don’t write!” Okay, I do compose my thoughts and share them with the world, but I don’t usually have a pencil and paper in front of me.
With the dawn of the personal computer, everything has gone digital including writing. Now we still use our hands to write, but it’s mostly typing or tracing with our fingers on a smart device. When I started writing for real I did start with a Mead Composition notebook and a pen. That was the way I did it. My ideas flowed out, and if I made mistakes, I crossed them out. I think it’s good to know how to write and edit by hand. There’s something about the tactile feedback you get from physical tools. Now I did pick up the computer as a writing tool as well, but I guess you could say I was a hybrid. See, when I was a kid tablets didn’t exist so it was me and my notebook then I would transfer my thoughts to the computer.
It’s funny how “save phobic” I was. I would immediately print out what I had typed because I didn’t want to use up space on the computer! lol Now, we had a 10 GB hard drive so that wasn’t a really a problem–text files are so small. What? Are you laughing at my 10 GB of storage? I know, today my tablet has over double that amount. It’s amazing how things have changed. So yes, I would type out maybe ten or so pages and then print.
Back then it took me a long time to type and I always had to look at the keys! So that was a time consuming process. Plus I used a very large font size of 24 to be easy on my eyes. That may have created more pages then there really were at the standard size of 12 =) But I didn’t care. Now I use the standard size font, and use the zoom feature available in most computer apps, and I print when I’m done. lol So as I was in the car the other day writing away, I thought about how far I’ve come from the days when would write in the car as we traveled around town and different places. Now I don’t get to do that much, because I’m usually driving! But when I do it’s nice–it brings back memories. And today I use a tablet and sync my files to the cloud. Sometimes I think I may go back to the composition notebook just for a change of pace–in fact, I have written some of my notes for the chapters ahead on paper. That was a few years ago, but since I haven’t gotten to those chapters yet in my digital writing I’ll probably refer to them as needed. Or not. I’m approaching Marianna a little differently this time around, as I think I’ve mentioned before. Not studying my old drafts, because I don’t want to rehash the old stories. I’m looking for the simplest version of the story. Now it’s still multi-layered, because that’s how I write, but at the same time I’m keeping the story lines down to a maximum of 3. I think I had something like 5 or more going on back in the day–each with their own back story.
My hope is that the technology improvement and my own growth in understanding have come together to make something which will hopefully be amazing. In reality though, it doesn’t have to be considered amazing to be worth something. I just put everything into it, my best ideas, my best efforts to do a good job and tell the truth. And! Write stories I would want to read. Hopefully there are others that also want to read them, but in the end I will have the satisfaction of completing the project, either way.