There's an interesting discussion on the blog Gusty Writer discussing how the internet has changed how we write. I was thinking about it yesterday. I don't know if I would have found myself working full time as a writer if it was not for computers and the internet.
So many of the successes I have originated from something I saw on the internet. My first contest win, a highly commended in the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association's Short Story Contest, I entered after reading about it on the internet. My first story that was chosen to be submitted for the Caine Prize was published at Author Africa a website I found on the internet. I've met almost all of the writers I know on the internet. For about two years now I've been doing a lot of collaborative writing projects with a woman who lives 200 kms away from me. We did the bulk of our work together through the internet. Without the internet I would be extremely isolated in my village in Botswana.
As for computers, I doubt I even need to mention how invaluable they are to me as a writer. Even just simple things. Like yesterday I was working on my romance novel and I decided I wanted a very minor character to take on a new role. If I was typing or writing by hand, I would have had to go back through all of the pages and find where this minor character is mentioned and make sure everything jives with her new expanded role. It might have taken a big chunk of my afternoon, not to mention having to re-type any pages that needed edits. Instead thanks to the computer, I used the find function and in a few minutes tightened everything up. Easy-ka-peasy.
As much as I rage at technology, and I do it often, I really must take a few minutes today and be grateful for how it allows me to follow my heart and do it so easily. Would I be a writers without computer and technology? Perhaps, but I would be no where near as successful as I've been.
What about you?