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Our A to Z co-host Damyanti Biswas who has the blog Daily (w)rite was recently talking about Word programs as opposed to typewriters. This got me to thinking about my own experiences. I disliked typewriters immensely when I had to deal with them. Being able to use Word programs was like a dream come true.
Technology is exciting, but it also scares me. Electric typewriters were better than the manuals, but still it was a hassle when you made a mistake. Correction ribbons and white-out kind of helped but I would still end up with a messy looking manuscript. I wrote a lot by long hand in my notebook with my Bic pen and I liked that just fine. But nevertheless I was deterred from being a professional writer and just doodled for myself and anyone who cared to take a peek.
I once bought a Sears Type-O-Graph. This was in the late 1980s. This novel little machine was like a typewriter that instead of making impressions with type heads it had little pen tips that wrote whatever it was that you were keyboarding. It also made really cool graphs and did a few other tricks.
The store demonstration sold me on the Type-O-Graph, but after I started using it I realized that it was too complex for me to want to learn about. Besides that, the little pen tips ran out of ink pretty quickly if you used them a lot and those things were expensive. The machine was not very effective and not economically practical. Besides, even though the graphs and diagrams that the machine could create were kind of cool, when would I need to use this? My whole point in getting the Type-O-Graph was to make writing easier and truth be told it did not do that.
When I finally started using computers I discovered true facility in writing. No more erasures and an easy view of what was going to be put on paper before it was printed. I could easily edit. My fingers were able to fly faster across the keyboard. And I could look at the internet when I wasn't keyboarding.
However, I was also now head to head with advanced technology. There is so much that I don't get about computers. There is too much to learn and new things keep coming. Just when I think I've got something down they change it. New versions of Word, new operating systems, new software, new hardware. When does it all end!!! I can't keep up.
I'm kind of concerned how things keep changing. Google, Blogger, Facebook--I get used to something and they make it different. Sure it's supposed to be improvements that they're making, but I liked the old ways. I can't keep up Twitter, video on YouTube, or all of the other things that are so abundant that I can't even name them all.
Someday I just know a computer virus is going to eat everything I've ever created, steal all that I have including my identity, and then infect me and my wife with some brain eating disease that will turn us into zombies. Then some stupid zombie author will turn me into a damn story about zombies and instead of writing a book, I'll be a book.
Of course, I suppose there's an upside to that. I like to see the up side to things, but I'm not thinking of it right at this moment.
Let's leave it at this: I'm kind of happy with the way things are right now and I don't want things to keep changing so fast. I'm glad we don't have typewriters anymore and I like computers. Leave my Windows and Word the way it is now because I'm used to it. Stop messing with Blogger, Google, and Facebook. All this change makes me feel so insecure.
To hear from other insecure writers go here.