oneschemeofhappiness

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Does Technology Help You Write?

An excellent question at an excellent time. I must answer in the ambivalent.

Yes. It helps me write. Especially now that I have learned to touch type (almost 3 years now), it really is a lot easier than writing things out by hand. I have been pushing myself to get past the 40wpm barrier, and even though I am not consistently there, I have noticed that I can more easily think while I am typing. My fingers are catching up to my thoughts. This frees more of my mind to think about what I want to write and not worry that it will be too much to type. Another way it helps, and this has been a much longer journey on a much steeper hill, is with editing what I have written. The tool of choice for text editing is (for me) Vi Improved, or Vim for short. It works on text with a bevvy–yes, a veritable bevvy–of features. It works the way my mind works when I think about editing. For me this is a very good thing. It takes a while to get used to it, and much longer to become proficient. It has been for me worth the effort, yea, at times the Frustration! I have always the internet close at hand. This will be valuable when it comes to nanowrimo. I can easily research that long forgotten tidbit of information needed to add that special polish to the daily grind. And I can even play a game while I’m at it. (This is where the ambivalence comes in).

No. That said, technology can be more than a little distracting, especially when there are other things to be done. I have found myself more than once taking a quick look at a website and coming to some hours later, perhaps more informed (the latest was an html5 site), but, alas!, without having completed the task I–ahem–sat down to accomplish. The last couple of days my poor wordpress blog has been floundering.

Some may say that the distractions outweigh the advantages, but I say to them: “Bah! Thou knowest not my subtlety. For surely it matters not where I be nor what mode employ, I shall find sufficient that about me for distraction.” Which reminds me, I just need to make a few more tweaks…I know I left that link around here somewhere…

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2 thoughts on “Does Technology Help You Write?

  1. I think that technology does help us write – but I must confess that my first drafts (except for very short pieces) are generally written with a pen and pad of paper. There is something about that immediacy of the pen and paper that precludes distraction…
    Of course, it doesn’t follow that my writing is better because of that process. Usually, it is the editing that makes it better!

    • Thanks for the reply. I also like the idea of pen and paper being portable. I guess if I got another laptop, I could take it with me.
      I know exactly what you mean about the editing! Sometimes when transferring from paper to computer, I edit so much that the piece turns out much, much different and usually better. I think that adds one to the No side, because it forces at least one edit. Otherwise, I tend to print out the draft and edit it that way. I find it really hard to edit something on the computer that is already on the computer. Some food for thought.

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