Wireless Technology – Introducing the Pencil

Infographic on how Social Media are being used...

Are you savvy to social media? Connected 24/7/365? Always logged-in? Wired? Wireless? Dashing down the Digital Divide? If you’re a writer – you just gotta be connected, right? The question is, how much time do we spend on social media and is the return on investment worth the writing time lost? What else is lost? I may have to read Hamlet’s Blackberry again.

Write what you know, the experts all say. Well, if we don’t live life, experience the human condition and perhaps even contemplate God’s sense of humor and (fortunately) boundless mercy, how will we really know anything?Β 

Regarding social media, WWHD? (what would Hemingway do?)

He’d probably team up with Hunter S. Thompson and have target practice, using their computers as targets. My opinion, argue if you must.

As I write this blog, I understand the irony of my situation. I take online grad classes in management, non-stop it seems. I have a personal and an author page on Facebook. I have two blogs. I moderate a fan page for a 501(c)(3) veteran’s group now.Β  I love all of it. On Sundays, I sometimes write fiction. Sometimes.Β  I “always” seem to be engaged with social media, however.

Cart calling horse: I think I may have this backwards?

As a very talented composer once said, after being asked what software he used when he wrote music – “There is something magical about putting the pencil down on paper. The meaning, the message, the soul – that’s how you get it onto the paper. A computer can’t do that.”

Pencils. Low tech, maybe. But if you choose to use one, you can truthfully say you are now using “wireless” technology.

Go ahead. Try it.

Get (re)connected..with your soul.


12 thoughts on “Wireless Technology – Introducing the Pencil

  1. Ah, yes, the great sucking hole that is the WWW (not to be confused with the WWF). It certainly does interfere with writing at times. But how else will we hermit-like writers interact with our peers? πŸ˜‰ And, as a side note, I pick up my pen and write long hand at least once a week. Oddly enough, my brain sometimes goes too fast for that method, though.

    • I do like the social aspect of social media. I would have never met so many great people, many of whom are writers! My major discomfort with social media this week came from interacting with a group on LinkedIn whose purpose was to boost their “like” numbers on their facebook pages. I quickly saw that most of them could care less what you were writing. Meaningless numbers are, to me, meaningless. I would rather stick with writers like those on WordPress, where we all are writing, trying to become better writers, and we all enjoy everyone’s successes and commiserate with our shortcomings!

      • I’m a member of LinkedIn and have a few connections, but I’ve never really used it — I’m not actually sure what it’s purpose is. LOL I only joined that because I was trying to track down an old friend and something led me there.

  2. Ah. Social media. My family is constantly yelling at me to get off my computer and take a break. My excuse, “I don’t have time to take a break.” Which is completely NOT true! I just feel that way. It doesn’t hurt to break away, and twitter and facebook will be there tomorrow. πŸ˜‰

    You know unless the internet crashes and then we’re all screwed…

    However, I haven’t written with a pen or pencil and paper IN AGES! I may have to give it another go. πŸ™‚

    • We are so “modern” we often send text messages to each other when we are in the same house; sometimes when we are in the same room. I know we have pens around somewhere…

  3. I got to admit that I am addicted to social media. I started typing because when I held that pencil (with all my meds) my hands would cramp.

    Well – the life of a writer. πŸ˜‰

    • I am with you on dysfunctional hands. Thanks to thirty years of balancing heavy saxophones with my thumb, I am blessed with a recurring tenosynovitis in my right hand, which in a few words means that grip strength can diminish at times, along with inconvenient pain. Nothing debilitating like RA, but my penmanship becomes so bad after a short while – I can’t even read what I wrote. I can, however, type with two fingers and two thumbs, at about 40 wpm.

  4. I used to do most of my [rather terrible] writing in pencil; I’ve got volumes of journals filled with lousy but lovingly-wrought stories. My hand would be covered in graphite. I’d look back and have to use a whole sentence for context to figure out half the words — some missing, some merely vastly misshapen.

    When the power cut out last summer, I was so desperate to write, laptop or no, that I pulled out a notebook and pen. I felt a bit lost without the senstation of playing a keyboard, and the words were messy, and there was no copy/pasting things around, or automatically checking for spelling or better synonyms, or much of the writing experience I’ve lately come to know. But it was more intimate.

    That’s why those early stories were made inside journals’ pages. They were before I gave any thought to future publication and (ideally) thousands of readers. They were just for me. Little private word sketches. Those are best suited to pencil or pen, methinks. Then it’s just me and the words, nothing else. I don’t know if I could write a novel that way. But to never write *anything* that way would be a great loss.

    • I agree – the handwritten snippets, written just for yourself, are invaluable. I think using the pencil, pen or dare I say quill beckons to a time when we were not in so much a hurry. This may not be a bad thing? If my typing skills were better, I would do everything on my manual Underwood. I think that might bridge the gap between my scribbling on parchment and my frustration with the squiggly red line on my netbook! As an aside, when I first studied music arranging and orchestration, we actually used quills and bottles of India ink. That was six months of hell, I tell you.

      • Wow! I can’t actually decide which is more “wow”, at the moment — that you’re a music arranger/orchestrator, or that they actually had you using quills. The quills are more “writerly wow”, I know, but I’m a sucker for music, too, so you got me at both ends.
        And yeah, I’m looking at a couple of squiggly red lines right now, and boy do they get tiresome…

      • The era of quills and India ink at the Navy School of Music ended about 1995. I graduated in ’94. The point was (they told us) to instill discipline in our writing and to make us think carefully about what we put on paper “before” we did it. Painful, yes, but the best part was bringing the music to a jazz band and hearing it played. “Best” unless you were someone who tried to get away with using a felt tip marker instead of a quill. At the time, most fine point markers did not use waterproof ink. Step one of the grading process: the judge would spritz water on your music just before the band was supposed to play. Hard to receive a grade if the trumpets can’t read their parts because your notes are running down the page!

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