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Why Writers Have a Love-Hate Relationship With Technology

Why Writers Have a Love-Hate Relationship With Technology

Nowadays writers hoping to put in writing, pitch, publish and platform-build have little selection however to give up themselves to their laptops and smartphones—a difficult predicament for the dreamers of the world. Listed here are a number of execs and cons of the writing world’s growing reliance on know-how.


Over the historical past of the written phrase, know-how has modified writers’ lives for the higher in some ways. First, there was the printing press that prompted widespread literacy and ensured a far wider viewers might have entry to books. Then, everybody had extra time for studying as soon as machines lowered the quantity of labor required for different pursuits.

We proceed to save lots of time with new know-how—not needing to load pages into typewriters, flip by way of card catalogs to seek out the reference supplies we’d like within the library, and even make a journey to the shop to purchase any requirements. We now reside in a world of two-day gratification (or much less).

However as the businesses which have made our lives simpler proceed to bigger by the yr, it’s necessary to take on the influence new know-how has on the writing group—each in constructive and adverse methods.

Execs: Immediate supply and elevated accessibility

Amazon Prime saves us the time whereas making us really feel a little bit like an emperor every time we summon an merchandise and get a near-instant supply, as Hasan Minhaj places it. Whereas for many this implies cat meals and bathroom paper delivered to the doorstep, for writers this additionally means it’s straightforward to trace down books and different gadgets wanted for analysis that may usually be arduous to seek out, resembling obscure or out-of-print books. As Minhaj put it within the third episode of his present Patriot Act, “Convenience is the commodity that matter most to our generation.”

Cons: Elevated spending, help of poor employee circumstances.

Prime is all enjoyable and video games, till you verify your financial institution stability, which has additionally been made simpler with cellular app know-how. What number of issues have you ever purchased as a result of it was made simpler with Prime and also you needed to really feel like an emperor? Did you actually need to order that electrical can opener simply because canned chili splashed throughout your face when you have been making an attempt to open it with a guide can opener that one time? Stories present that Prime clients spend on common $800 extra per yr on Amazon than the retailer’s different clients. This hole can also be rising wider.

Our reliance on Amazon has unfavorable penalties that have an effect on others, too. The elevated demand for shopper items definitely impacts the setting. Growing reliance on Amazon places retailers in each business susceptible to dropping extra gross sales to the enormous. This consists of your favourite indie bookstore and even giant booksellers like Barnes and Noble.

Every order provides to the workload of achievement specialists and supply drivers, who might stroll 15 miles per day to retrieve 1,000 gadgets across the warehouse or really feel pressured to drive at harmful speeds to ship 250-300 packages throughout their shift.

Professional: Improved know-how makes our jobs simpler.

Search engines like google like Google make wanting up topics and falling down a rabbit gap of analysis are as straightforward as typing into a field. Apps like Trint use AI to transcribe interviews so that you simply don’t should. Social media makes discovering and cultivating an viewers in your work straightforward to do with out leaving your house. The audio high quality of Voice Memos on the iPhone is superior to that $12 audio recorder you beforehand used. Grammarly proofreads your writing for you, free of charge. Apps reminiscent of Freedom block you out of internet sites that may distract you when you are making an attempt to write down. Use Google Books to seek for sure phrases inside a textual content, or the Google Books Ngram Viewer to see when sure phrases entered and have become widespread in written textual content (good for writing historic fiction). The listing goes on.

Cons: Merchandise are rising increasingly costly, new tech serves as a distraction.

Entry to this know-how could be costly. Writers preferring a Mac to a PC need to shell out significantly more money to personal the know-how—a new Macbook Air is $1,199, whereas a PC prices within the ballpark of $400–$800. Apple equipment comparable to Mac chargers additionally value a fairly penny greater than PC equipment. As Apple continues to improve its know-how, the price of proudly owning an iPhone is rising with every launch. Writers can pay extra money for Apple merchandise merely due to the aesthetic and model recognition.

With nice know-how comes the potential to grow to be sidetracked with all it has to supply. Attempt sitting right down to solely give attention to writing whenever you even have the power to buy, join with associates and play video games in your system. On this case, productiveness apps that block out these distractions might be a large assist in case you fall prey to their calling. 

Professional: There’s potential to realize a bigger following by promoting your work on Amazon and different ebook retailers.

When you self-published your work, you in all probability need to promote it by way of Amazon (and you might have self-published it by way of Amazon). Potential consumers belief this retailer and know the place they will simply discover your e-book. Amazon comes with built-in tech help for sellers ought to a problem come up, plus there’s potential to succeed in Amazon’s giant variety of consumers. As the most important vendor of e-books, the marketplace for e-books on Amazon can also be giant.

Cons: Promoting on Amazon could be robust and minimize into your revenue.

Most authors’ books, each historically and self-published, can be found on Amazon. It’s essential to minimize via a lot of competitors to promote your work. This may be executed via chopping your costs to compete with different books and even providing your e-book without spending a dime for a sure time period. Consumers aren’t going to only land in your vendor web page when they’re looking for books—you’ll need to push the hyperlink to your web page closely although social media, newsletters and different platform retailers.

Setting costs in your work will get troublesome as a result of Amazon takes a portion of the income, which may reduce into your income. You’re pressured to ask your self what’s extra essential to you: your revenue or getting your voice and storytelling out to the world.

Professional: Technology gives extra alternatives to convey communities of writers and readers collectively. 

When you use social media, you in all probability comply with your favourite authors on their platforms. Chances are you’ll even promote your personal work in your social media accounts, hoping that everybody you used to work with and their cousin will get enthusiastic about your subsequent guide. Discovering the subsequent guide it is best to learn is straightforward as a result of you possibly can see on Goodreads what that woman you went to school with who has nice style in books is studying. Eventbite can let you recognize about an open mic collection you didn’t find out about in your metropolis. Subreddits can show efficient find a devoted following on your work, eliciting suggestions from friends or connecting with others who’ve the identical pursuits. There’s infinite alternative on the market to seek out your group of individuals miles away who you wouldn’t have met in any other case.

Con: Technology has the potential to drive individuals aside.

The vitriol that exploded on social media main as much as the 2016 presidential election is only one instance of how know-how can drive individuals aside. Whereas writers are usually open-minded individuals, we will all agree that nobody needs to have a platform in an internet surroundings that’s poisonous.

Dedicating time to networking and constructing a platform on-line may also reduce into time that you might spend constructing significant connections in-person at readings, writers’ meet-ups and different literary occasions or just grabbing espresso together with your author buddies.

The rising empires of Massive Tech corporations may also drive communities of writers aside, albeit not directly. As corporations like Google and Apple dominate the financial system of locations like Silicon Valley, the price of dwelling there skyrockets. As soon as well-known for its thriving artistic group, now solely the ultra-rich can afford to stay in San Francisco. Seattle, house of the Amazon headquarters, additionally faces a extreme scarcity of reasonably priced housing.

Indicators level to this development following in Queens, New York, and Arlington, Virginia, the place Amazon plans to determine its second and third headquarters. Queens is among the final locations working class writers can afford to reside in New York Metropolis. For anywhere to have a thriving literary group, reasonably priced housing is a necessity. In pricing writers out of massive cities, giant tech corporations are successfully ending wide-reaching artistic communities in these locations. Think about if all the Misplaced Era writers who lived in Paris as expatriates have been priced out of their haven as a result of the arrival of massive tech started in that place and time. Literary historical past would look a lot totally different than it does now.

Oour lives would additionally look a lot totally different immediately with out know-how at our fingertips. As writers, we should hope that the subsequent wave of innovation brings each new advances in tech in addition to new approaches to unravel the issues that include new know-how.


Right here’s a plus: Technology can deliver studying to your fingertips. Study one thing new in these upcoming on-line programs.

 


Writersdigest.com is a participant within the Amazon Providers LLC Associates Program, an affiliate promoting program designed to offer a means for websites to earn promoting charges by promoting and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated web sites.  

 

 

 

 

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