Friday, June 1, 2007

Question: How did the writing community exist and/or thrive before the computer-age?

Once again, I found limited time to write this week but not due to seminars or fun trips to Key West. I spent hours in front of the computer without writing one word and I wasn’t even playing solitaire.

Writer’s block? Well, maybe, but the block resulted from lack of technical skills rather than ideas. No one warned me that once I’d written my book, The Ride, I was going to need an advanced course in computer literacy. The Archebooks Professional Novelist workshop, introduced terms like pinging your blog, RSS feeds (Really Simple Syndication), Meta tags, SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I could go on, but it gives me a headache and I’m sure you get the idea.

I took copious notes, but once I sat down with them in front of the computer, I discovered they made absolutely no sense. It’s like learning a new language; I can pronounce the words, but I haven’t a clue what they mean. It would have been a much better idea for Kim (my husband and computer geek) to attend that portion of the workshop for me, because when someone speaks those endearing terms to him, his eyes sparkle with excitement.

For instance, when I announced to him I needed to begin a blog, he immediately sat down and showed me how simple it was by starting one himself. (Check it out – -for a wonderful slide show of the flowers of Lakes Park as well as comments on wildlife sightings.) Still it took me over a month more to convince myself that I could blog too.

When trying to apply what I learned at the seminar I’d become frustrated and whine loud and long enough to cause Kim come to my rescue. Although they don’t look different, thanks to him, my web site and blog have bells and whistles they’d never have otherwise. Now I look as if I not only retained useful information from the seminar, but I applied it as well.

Isn’t it incredible that before computers, people actually wrote by using pen and paper, turning out great works without the use of spell checker or the cut and paste icon. And, I can’t help but wonder when Shakespeare finished his first play, Henry VI, Part One, in the late 1500’s, how did he manage let the masses know without email, blogs and web sites? I must admit, I may be a little envious.

See you next week.

Jane Kennedy Sutton
Author of The Ride
Web site:

Tags: The Ride, Shakespeare, Lakes Park

No comments:

Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world