Technology and Writing

Hey ya’ll,

So I went to the Kirschenbaum lecture on Wednesday, and it was pretty cool.  The talk had a lot to do with forensics in computers, how a file can track changes, and how much that would open up the history of a particular book being written.  I wanted to take a moment to pick everyone’s brains though.

To what extent do you think technology has impacted the writing process itself?  Many authors now write continuously in one file; I know that personally I have to think very hard to avoid having one file open, and rewriting over previous drafts.  In class we discussed how technology has impacted the way we read and process information.  In addition to the question about drafts, do you think hyper-attentiveness has also snuck into the writing process?  Writers can now write on a computer, and do all of their research through google.  Between many writers no longer keeping their old drafts but instead writing over them, having easy access to information they no longer have to physically find in a library or archive, the shirt in the types of books being published, and more distractions and feedback than ever, do you think the way writers write, even the writing process itself, has changed?

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6 Responses to Technology and Writing

  1. legrandreveur says:

    Just wanted to quickly give my two cents on this…

    I think that for many people, the writing process itself has changed. People no longer have to worry about sifting through books for research or crossing out, erasing, and rewriting in order to edit a paper. That being said, the way most writers write probably has also changed. I feel as though writers may not put as much effort (for lack of a better word) into their work because they can simply go back and delete and write over something any time they wish by simply putting the word or phrase into the “find” box. When writing was all done with a pencil and paper or a typewriter, authors would have to reread the document in order to find the areas they want to change, which I believe made them more familiar with their writing.

    I know I personally re-wrote my “Future of Literacy” essay and used the computer to find books, but physically checked them out and flipped through them for information. I also have a bad habit of saving 10 drafts of something because I’m never sure which version/wording I like better. I’m sure many authors still do this, but I definitely think the “save” button has become a writer’s best way to ‘permanently’ erase any mistakes they made or get rid of anything they didn’t want to say.

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