The (kind of) almighty computer

I’ve always loved the sound of a pen scratching against paper. There was just something about looking over hand written pages in notebooks that made me feel accomplished. I felt like a real writer.

It was always a bit disheartening to finally type up something I had written and watch the thirty two pages get cut down to twelve. Computers are so maddeningly concise.

I’ve never been very good at composing on a computer. In school I would write my outlines and the rough draft of papers out by hand. It was time consuming, yes, but much easier on my brain. I tried to just sit down and write from my outline on a computer, but I would always get stuck. I could never understand how my friends could just type without hand writing anything.

In college, I began to understand that I was crazy. Not for real crazy, but mostly just being ridiculous. I had put too much importance on my hand written notes. I wasted too much time hand writing things, only to just type them soon after. I had convinced myself that real writers only composed on acceptable mediums, like a notepad or a typewriter(which is completely different from a computer).

The problem with computers is that it’s just so easy to lose everything. My hard drive crashed last year, and it was the most devastating thing to happen. All of my polished works were on there, as well as most of the things I had written in the past eight years. One night I was typing my novel, then suddenly my computer was giving me the Mac screen of death. I cried. Alot. I still had some of my notes, and right before graduation from college I had printed of everything I had ever put on the computers at school. But the typed chapters of my novel were gone. Computers were obviously to blame, not my misused of the machines.Image

This is what I stared at for a full week.

If a writer years ago talked about all their work being destroyed, it was usually the result of a fire. I could never be that dramatically lucky. My hours of hard work were deleted by a faulty electric contraption.

After months of mourning, I realized that I probably should have backed up my computer at least once, considering that what I was typing was so important to me. I didn’t, though, because I was being too stubborn. I should have been embracing the technology more, instead of fighting it. I thought that I could just keeping pushing my computer, even though I hated it.

I have learned to appreciate my computer more. Instead of just scribbling out what I consider “bad writing” I can simply delete it, and it’ll be like it never happened. Seriously, I had this one story for years because I wanted to fix it, but every time I looked it over I was reminded just how poorly it was written. I had even typed it. It felt really good to delete one of the worst things I’d ever written instead of tearing it up into tiny pieces and hope no one ever went through my trash and managed to piece it back together. Writers are paranoid people.

Although I do prefer to sound of pen scratching against paper, and my piles of notebooks, I have learned to love the clacking of my keyboard because it is a new sign of accomplishment to me. Nonstop typing means I am working towards getting my book done. It’s not as satisfying as carrying around 5 different notebooks full of scenes, notes and outlines, but I can accept it.

Thanks for reading this bit of rambling!


About Jess

I'm just going to keep writing until I run out of words
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