Sunday, August 28, 2011
Turning Back The Writer's Clock...
I love being a writer in the modern age with all the technology and gadgets at your fingertips. Computers, Internet, cell phones, iPad or other Pads, PC cams, Instant Chat, Video Chat, on and on. With these things handy, most writers can do all their business and then some without ever having to leave their office.
I have practically forgotten what it was like to type books on a typewriter, go to the library for research, go to local bookstores (with Amazon and BN online, among others, pretty much making it a lost art), gather at watering holes to shoot the breeze with other authors and fans alike (can do all that now with my iPhone, iPad, and computer), etc.
Even doing book signings is not what it once was. Readers are not as eager to press flesh with you or get your John Hancock, or watch you read a passage from your book. The thrill is gone now that they can interact with you online, talk to others about you online, review your books online, and most anything else they wish to do with respect to connecting with your book online.
And yet, though I am perfectly at home, fully embracing the ease with which I can write, publish, and promote books in the modern age, I have to admit that at times I long for turning back the clock to the good old days.
I may never admit this to my wife and would never suggest such to my publishers, but I miss (a little) typing my manuscripts on my old true and tried typewriter. Or going to the library and spending the entire day there pouring through books and newspapers. Or chatting with librarians and other users. Or hanging out at bookstores as a writer and reader. With the latter, I loved searching for the true treasure amongst tens of thousands of books. The read was almost incidental.
I also loved stocking my home bookshelves with books I acquired and could pull down whenever it suited my fancy. Now I do much of my reading and shelving virtually, through my iPad, Kindle, or Nook.
If there were a time machine, I just might take a trip down memory lane to enjoy the good old days as a writer old enough to remember and still appreciate.
So long as I had a round trip ticket to return to the sweet life for writers today.
How did you like the old tools of the trade compared to today?
What do you wish was still alive and well in the writing world from yesteryear?