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Mere Possibilities

March 17, 2009

I’m writing this post from a hospital room, in an uncomfortable chair that allegedly converts into a bed—although for the life of me I can’t figure out how to do it. The room is dark, and my page is a 2″ x 2″ lit screen on a phone with a full, albeit cramped, keyboard, and the ability to create and edit Word documents. The person in the hospital bed, isn’t even aware I’m writing.

It called Mobile Blogging—or for those with no literary soul, moblogging.

And it sucks. I mean it’s just a miserable way to write. Not only is it difficult to type, but the act of creating is so cramped and cumbersome that the mere act of composing a sentence can take minutes.

But…

…it is possible.

A decade ago the opening paragraph of this post would have been impossible. More to the point it would have been gibberish. But as technology pushes on everything seems to be dragged along in it’s wake.

A decade ago I carried a pen and a notebook, and I counted pennies and coveted one of the first generations of thumbdrives. Today I still carry the pen and the notebook, but I now have close to a dozen multiple GB thumbdrives, a notebook computer that is often with me, and a mobile phone that has more power and functionality than the computer that got me through college.

Has this changed the way I write? Well yes and no. This phone in my hand will never take the place of that pen and notebook—it can’t. It’s too difficult to type quickly, or to review what I have written more than a few lines earlier. But no matter how much I love the familiarity of that rollerball pen and spiral-bound paper there is no way for me to use those to instantly send my words to a friend, or post it to the web. But no longer it is necessary to make sure I’m always carrying a notebook, in case a good idea happens to crop up while out on the town.

How has the rapid evolution of technology changed the way you write? How had it changed the creative process for you?

5 Comments
  1. March 17, 2009 6:22 am

    It has made writing a little easier. I still haven’t got the hang of blogging using my mobile, mainly because my keypad is tiny, and I hate having to write at length on it. But hopefully soon I’m going to get a nice little netbook, just enough to handle OpenOffice, and use that to write in on the move.

    I still use pen and paper, sometimes – mainly for my journal, or little notes.

    The advantage of technology for me is that my handwriting is so bad, if I quickly write something down, within a few days I cannot read what it says anymore! Technological advances mean I lose less ideas than I did before.

  2. Dark Angel permalink
    March 17, 2009 7:26 am

    Thanks to adaptive technology I am now able to do all my writing on the computer; before I relied on a mechanicle braille writer as ‘m blind.
    The biggest advantage as a blind person is that I can now share my writings muc more easily with sighted people and it doesn’t take up any physical space – this was a big issue, since the braille equivalent of one a4 is four pages.

  3. March 17, 2009 7:34 am

    I can hardly type an SMS – let alone think about blogging from a mobile…I am such a techno feeb with SMSing – people are lucky if they get a reply from me saying “ok”.

    I take a notepad everywhere I go, have a tiny pad in my purse – with biro – and am not usually far away from my laptop..god bless laptops… only wish I could justify roaming internet…

  4. March 17, 2009 7:45 am

    Without the technology advances in the past few years I wouldn’t be writing. Without the internet, without blogs etc… I would not have found my way back to writing like I have.

    I carry note pad and pen around – but dont use them as much as I should – wish there was technology to record my thoughts because that’s where the best stories are being written at any point in the day.

    I am excited about the way technology is moving – especially what it means for self publishing for writers, for being able to cultivate that core group of 1000 fans and for what it can mean for writing styles such as the short story.

    I can’t imagine texting a blog post on my phone – even I’m not that good (or my phone – one or the other)

    Kudos to you Dale

  5. March 17, 2009 5:27 pm

    I’m a real tech geek, love my new gadgets and I’m not sure how this sounds, but a new gadget gets me writing because it’s an excuse to use my new toy, such as a laptop. So I guess it’s been good for my writing, but also distracting in that there are also 101 other things to do online.

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