Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Dark Ages (Before the Web)

I remember my first computer – a Commodore 64 back in the 1980s – that I used to write my second book. There wasn’t an Internet back then. I purchased the computer simply to use as a word processor because it was somewhat more efficient than the Smith-Corona portable electric typewriter I used in college and for writing my first book.

I will say that that I never lost copy while using the typewriter (something that happened with regularity with the Commodore 64) and I was much more careful while writing because I didn’t want to spend a lot of time in rewrites. Back then, of course, I used copyediting marks during the rewrite process.
I kept a thesaurus, Webster’s dictionary, and Associated Press Stylebook on my desk as my primary reference tools. I also had a set of the World Book Encyclopedia that I used for research. And I spent a lot of time in libraries, using their vast resources on the shelves and microfilm.
My, how times have changed. Everything is practically at our fingertips while writing. Of course there is a downside to that as well. It's awfully easy to get distracted from writing when you find yourself checking and sending e-mails and going beyond research into aimless surfing.
And I know a few folks who decide to take a break from the writing and play an online game -- just one or two times -- and end up playing countless times.
Sometimes the pre-Internet days sound pretty good.
Until the next time...

1 comment:

  1. you are so right! but eventough we have the information at our fingertips like you said, i still love to research at the libraries, nothing like feeling the paper on your hands ;) i really enjoyed reading this entry :) thank you for that :)