Blogtober, Day Twenty Four, and the hits keep right on coming. I wish a few when they came would actually land somewhere near the target, but…
What I need is something that will help me target my writing better, something that gives me the means to get the pieces read by people, make them want to pass it along, spread my words like a pathogen infecting a population.
What I need now is, I need some kind of tool. Had it not been for the tools I’ve had access to, I’d not have gotten this far, so why stop using them now…?
I did say earlier on that I would discuss having gotten a tablet recently. For me, getting one required a bit of luck, the same product relied upon by all writers, entertainers, gamblers, criminals, and other such so dependent on it. Without getting into too many embarrassing details, Fortuna showed up like the host of Dialing for Dollars calling my number, and I was able to give her the right answer when she asked.
(Yeah, I’m dating myself here, though the fact that the show gets name checked in Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz” which I have done a capaella for a happy audience a few times, gives it a personal resonance with me; if you ever want to catch me sing, it’s usually part of my gig…)
How I ended up with it is not as important as what happened afterwards; there were suddenly a host of new options as far as my work flow and practices were concerned. Whole new options, opening whole new vistas:
- Being able to not just think about a story while I was in the middle of other things, but to whip out the tablet and start writing them, right there, on the subway; in fact, I thought I was going to have to call a Mulligan on a Blogtober piece, had a young girl not had a meltdown the morning before I flew the white flag, but with the tablet at hand I had the draft ready before lunch was finished, keeping the streak alive
- Using a hot spot to do research for a piece on the fly, as opposed to having to wait for getting back to a work space and logging in from there hours later
- Calling up my work for an audience on demand, as I did last month (and gotten written up for afterwards in SFScope)
- And as a bonus, there is the camera option on the tablet that I’m using a bit to the point of annoyance, as per below:
(Just imagine what kind of complete pain-in-the-ass I could turn into if I got a more serious camera…)
So, if I haven’t bored you away by now, the question you might be asking is, how did it make me feel having this?
As pleased as the last few times I had a new innovation to assist me:
There was the time I got a modem to hook up to the computer, which suddenly turned the box on my desk from a self-contained unit into a gateway to a wider world.
(And if you’re asking, “Wait, an external modem, what…?” then yes, I am dating myself yet again…)
There was the time I got the computer itself, which suddenly made the process so much easier when it came time to compile drafts, correct texts and do some of the spit and polish needed when you write.
And before that, getting my own typewriter, which meant not only was my output now legible, but it got finished way faster.
Stop asking just how old I am, you!
The main point here isn’t how I adopt to hardware, but the impressions gleamed from having had access to new tools that assist with the process. Other writers and content providers must go through this as well, and some of them might even realize more daring possibilities than I have so far.
It’s like a personal Information Revolution every time something comes along that assist with the process, watching it take the output in a new direction, showing a new set of possibilities for what can be done with the material. And even if the work would have been the same regardless of the means of production (the same way NEUROMANCER would have been the same had Gibson used a word process instead of a typewriter), the potential for getting it to a new set of eyes beyond the older channels available cannot be dismissed out of hand. Going digital for most writers was like Martin Luther being introduced to Johannes Gutenberg; so much potential, so much promise…
One of the discoveries that came out of exposure to these new processes is the ability to dialog. Which is my invitation to ask you, what have you found that changed your process? What did you find that made things different for you, changed your game, made you rethink what you were doing?
And if you don’t have anything to offer, hey, I’m perfectly happy to keep the dialog going if you just want to ask any questions about anything.
Except for old I really am…