On Writing – Old and New Technology

This morning I visited RVJohn’s blog (see link on the sidebar) to see what’s up in his world.  I hadn’t been there in a while, so I read back a few entries.  I especially enjoyed reading about how he writes everyday on his blog as a way to keep a journal.  Now, John doesn’t use the old paper and pencil stuff because, well, excuse me, John, but I’m gonna say it’s because he’s a computer geek!

I wrote him a note and commented that I like journaling with paper and pen, although I compose my posts on this blog extemporaneously.  I remember when I first became familiar with a computer in graduate school, and I had to write out with paper and pen what I wanted to put in a document before I put it into a computer document.  I guess I did learn to write without those tools.  But I still like having a pad of paper and a pen nearby for jotting things down.

I think there is nothing like the way the energy of one’s thoughts is conveyed from the brain through the arm and hand, into the fingers and, with the aid of a tool, onto the paper.  That makes it feel very organic to me, an organic process.  It isn’t only the energy from the thoughts, but it’s also the energy that one can feel in his or her throat as the words are being placed on the paper.  I FEEL that I am actually ‘saying’ something when I write.  It doesn’t matter, by-the-way, if no one is listening.  As John wrote, it’s a way of communicating with oneself.    It’s the same when one writes a letter or personal note, or even an email to a friend.  It is still somewhat of a communication with oneself.

As I was looking for an image to attach to this post I ran across several blogs by people who also used paper and pen images for their posts – most of which were about the process of writing.  One even asked people to write in their favorite way of taking notes, or writing documents.  Although the product seems to have been out for several years now, there is a computer pen – a ‘smart pen’ that can, with special paper, record your written words, as well as record presentations at the same time.  It’s touted mostly for students, but I’m going to check it out to see if it’s something I’d like to use.

I also read a sociology student’s blog who felt that technology would eventually cancel out the need to write with paper and pen.  What with all the smart phones, iPads, and other technology that would make them obsolete.  My view, however, is that even with the forward ‘progress’ of technology, if there is not education about correct grammar usage, spelling, punctuation, and so forth, the generations to follow will be technology poor, and not have a clue about being literate.  (I’m proud of you, John, for correcting your mistakes in your blog entries, even if you think no one is reading them!)  Oh, and can you imagine that the word “guess’ (I capitalized it as it was the first word in the sentence) wasn’t in the email spell check program for Gmail?  This is a clue, and a symptom, folks!

When I was working as a social worker, way before my retirement, I used to fantasize about how I could get my reports done without having to write them long-hand, have my secretary type them, me proof-read them, and have them typed again.  I thought it would be great if I could just think my report onto the paper.  But then, who would make the corrections?  Maybe in the next human evolution!

At least the tools we have now beat out the chisel and the rock!

4 thoughts on “On Writing – Old and New Technology”

  1. I’ve been using a program called Dragon Naturally Speaking for nine years. It’s wonderful. You can talk to the computer and the program types the words. When the program works it’s like magic. The customer service is terrible, though. They charge something like $20 per phone call.
    I’m always impressed that you can just write right onto your blog!

    1. Thanks, Gracie, for reminding me of this technology. It’s yet another way to have one’s voice heard, literally. Some people are stronger with the written word and some are stronger with the spoken word. This is a great tool for both.

  2. Hi Su, and Thanks! I comment back to your comment on my blog but I should have read your blog first! Oh I just wish I could write as well as you do, I could get things said much easier! Oh well I will just have to plug along. I like the image you found.
    To Grace, the reviews give Naturally Speaking Dragon as the best of the voice recognition software out …….. but I am still waiting on the “Southern Drawl Addition”!

    1. I LOVE the idea of a Southern Drawl Dragon! I have a friend here who was raised in the south, a lot farther south than Virginia, where i was raised. We love to talk ‘southern’ when we get together. As you know, those southern folks have their own language, with dictionaries, especially those from Kentucky! You do great! I’ve missed our ‘in depth’ conversations! You take my ribbin’ well! Glad you’re doing well. And thanks for your comments. I’ll be looking for your next sleep test story.

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