Alphabet Challenge Day 3
The third day of my blogging challenge
The Letter is C
and the topic is COMPUTERS
I was debating a number of possibilities for today’s post, but my mind has narrowed towards computers because mine has gone on strike. Actually, I think it’s more terminal than that – I’m already planning the wake!
It’s been temperamental all summer, but it’s chosen today of all days to throw in the towel, go belly up, shuffle off this mortal coil.
I’ve got two short stories I desperately need to work on (deadlines) and the Worcestershire Lit Fest flash fiction anthology to finish. I’ve got a laptop, so I can do internet stuff, but all my work is on the main computer – and I can’t get at it!
Okay, rant over. I suppose the frustrations when something goes wrong with the computer are only so significant because it is such a wonderful tool. When I give talks or meet book groups, a common question is – do you write by hand or on the computer? And it’s definitely on the computer. Word processing has transformed the process of writing. (At least for prose – it’s might be different for poetry.)
I find it hard to believe that in the dim and distant past, I wrote four novels by hand. Yes, by hand! Perhaps the fact that they’re all stuck in a drawer somewhere highlights the difficulties – or more likely, they just weren’t very good! – but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. In fact, I used to love the feel of the pen in my fingers, my hand moving across the page. I couldn’t imagine writing – certainly not creatively – in any other way, but now …
When I was on holiday recently and without a computer, I tried to write the first draft of a story by hand. The poolside location and the high 30s temperature might not have helped, but by the time I’d crossed out, moved things round, inserted arrows and asterisks, it was impossible to make any sense of it.
When I was writing my four novels (in ten years!), I didn’t know many people who were also writers, certainly not writing novels. Now, writers and writing courses are everywhere, and I wonder what the impact of the computer has been on the number of people who want to write.
So, computer, I might swear at you sometimes when you won’t do what I want you to do; when you decide to do things differently or reformat or ‘hide’ documents, but I do love you really. Please come back!