I want to talk today about my new obsession with writing. Technology! And what technology has done for my writing; how it helped and how it hindered my ability as a writer.
The key thing that comes to mind when I talk about my advancement from pen and paper to all the technological advancement in writing, is my upbringing. I was creative from the time when I was small, throughout the years until now. I have boxes and binders of evidence to support that fact, and even more, long since lost or thrown away in the interim. Growing up in the mid-80s through the 90s, our world went through a technology revolution, computers arrived in most homes, Apple was born, the Internet became a thing we all used, the birth of social media- be it to our detriment or not, was a novelty that became commonplace. And I discovered none of it!
I was still a pen and paper girl until I was 20 years old, living for the first time away from home (renting a room from my cousin) dating my husband, and going through a self-discovery revolution for the first time. And my love of the laptop was born.
My cousin loaned it to me when I told him I was working on a creative story I had an idea for. He had two desktop computers and a laptop, so he said I could borrow the laptop to write my story on.
I discovered the portability and ease of being able to write wherever my creativity took me. I sat on the window seat of my rented room and type as fast as my fingers would fly. If I got a good enough charge, I would venture out to the front lawn and a blanket in the perfect summer weather. I was suddenly free from the confines of pen and notebooks that I might lose, or waste with all my restarts and scribbles correcting forgotten phrases.
I decided I would need one of my own and during the following years, I worked, saved, and planned. And soon I bought my first personal computer, a used Apple clamshell laptop in turquoise blue from eBay. They were so cute and I had learned about them from my then-boyfriend (soon-to-be husband) The ease and beauty of working with Apple products was my introduction to my tech.
Many years later, when my beloved clamshell neared its sad slow end, it was a secondhand purchase after all; I purchased a new white MacBook. Once again the ease of function, no more boxes of papers to control and keep track of, and portability of writing where ever my imagination took me, plus the size of the MacBook was less than the clamshell so I fell in love with it. It lasted me through the years and drew me to another MacBook when again my computer died because of a heartbreaking (floor-crashing) accident that leads to damage this time. And the 11 inch MacBook Air remains the laptop I use today.
But again, the budding of new technology has allowed for another advancement in my writing. I have now purchased an iPad (first for the ability to create digital art - as mentioned in many of my posts) secondly I have discovered a renewed purpose with it for my writing.
All the software I use on the iPad and the ability to sync from one device to the other (hello cellphone taking the place of a music player, calculator, alarm, texting device all-in-one) has improved my ability to work on multiple projects in many stages of development. Plotting stages are becoming more of a breeze because of apps like Scrivener, and Notes and Google Docs, and most of all GoodNotes- and has lead me to design my very own first digital planner and creating the stickers to use in it.
The Internet has become a widely inspiring and informing tool that many writers used to aid in their writing. I also think that new technology like voice recorders and mind mapping and spreadsheets have helped with forming Ideas for books.
Grammar checking and plotting sites online is a tremendous boost to the sometimes lonely world of being an introverted writer. But you still have to write, and although nothing can beat pen and paper; sometimes being able to get the words typed out as fast as you can think helps the flow of writing a lot.
What are your favorite writing technological advancements? Are there any I am missing, and if you don’t share my love of all things Apple, what other tools do you rely on for your writing needs?