Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Being a writer in today's day and age


One of my favorite writer's sites, Will Write For Chocolate, included a post today about online tools for writers, containing a good number of resources that other writers should find useful. I was reminded of how lucky I am to be a writer in this day and age. Just imagine having to go to the library to do your research - and not even knowing ahead of time whether they might have what you need! Or - gasp - having to search the card catalog!

Seriously, things are so much easier for writers these days. I can research and write an article all from the same screen, from any location with internet access, and usually in a much shorter amount of time than what hardcopy research would take. (Places with free WiFi are my favorite: Tattered Cover Bookstore, Paris on the Platte, and - ironically - the Jefferson County libraries.) Not to mention, most of my jobs have to do with the internet in some form or another.

Another plus: when the spell check or thesaurus features on MS Word seriously fail to help me out any, I can use online sources instead, such as online dictionaries!

Oh, and here's the best part - submission is instantaneous via email (although there are still a frustratingly high number of publications who refuse to accept anything via email), as is payment via paypal!

Basically, I can't imagine how a writer would have made it in the "dark ages" before computers and internet technology. I can hardly imagine how I survived before internet research (although I dimly recall using something called "Carl" - I think that's the spelling - years ago to research via an online encyclopedic database).

Oh! the memories! I also remember scribbling my stories into a spiralbound notebook, and typing them up later on... Just as I remember several hard drive crashes that cost me a good deal of my work! Now I save everything on the hard drive again - for the first time in ten years - and carry it all with me with as much ease as I carried that notebook!

Yes, being a writer in today's day and age is a wondrous thing.

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