The Necessity of Computers

A writer’s most important tool is the computer.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. You don’t have to have a computer to write. You can picture scenes in your mind, perfecting the dialogue and the characters’ movements. You can use any phone that has note taking capabilities to make notes. You can record scenes like you’re dictating to yourself. You can also use the old tried and true method of a pen or pencil and paper. You don’t even need large sheets of paper or notebooks. A few small scraps, and you can still continue your writing no matter where you are.

For a long time, I didn’t have a computer, and certainly not one of my own. Did that mean I wasn’t writing?

Absolutely not. I’ve got stacks of notebooks, folders, and loose sheets of paper that show just how much I was writing when I didn’t have a computer. I have shelves full of these stacks. Drawers of them.

So why is the computer so important?

Because it allows the stories to be shared.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. People can, assuming they can get past my unique handwriting, read the stuff I write by hand. They just have to be here, in person, to do so.

So the paper part limits things considerably, especially when the bulk of people who give me comments on my stories are not here in person. They’re across the country or across the world. Without a convenient way to type them up and share them, it’s harder to make progress.

Transferring the handwritten notes to typed documents is not something I’ve been all that good at in the past, as the years worth of untyped stories would attest.

It used to be that I was extremely against the idea of typing. I did not write anything on the computer. I didn’t like the way things looked on a computer screen. It didn’t seem the same, not like “writing” when it wasn’t done by hand. In fact, I used to say that it was only “writing” if I did it by hand. If I was on the computer, that was “typing.”

I must, I think, credit my change in attitude to the years I spent writing fanfiction. Say what you will about it, the experience I gained there helped me in a lot of ways (giving me a place to share my stories and receive criticism, that sort of thing) but also in the fact that I actually had to overcome my stubbornness when it came to typing.

Now, typing is the same as writing, and the computer is essential. It is as much of a necessity as coffee.

Naturally, this makes my laptop’s recent issues with “oh, look, I have a loose connection so I shall pretend to die” very distressing. I’d say I have fallen behind schedule, particularly with the editing, as the computer becomes inaccessible for days at a time. I still write, but it’s not as easy to do when borrowing a computer. Then I get mine working again, and it suddenly quits again. This has been rather a technological nightmare, and the ups and downs of it are extremely stressful. Picture me, ready to curl up in a ball and cry because my computer will not turn on.

It was only because I’d been in the middle of a scene. I swear.

It is working now, by the way. We shall see how long this lasts.

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