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Tech Advances and the Writer


A writer friend recently signed up for Twitter and was astounded at the plethora of "Tweets," or messages he was receiving. Another writer sitting at the table said he didn't even own a cell phone, but felt left out, or rather, left behind.

For writers, there seems to be some self-imposed allure to all tech advances. Twitter, blogging, Facebook etc. (I don't pretend to know all that is happening in this arena--i.e., does anyone still use MySpace?) are about the use of words to communicate. So writers, who traffic in words, should jump on the bandwagon. Right?

Yet, as Howard Junker, editor of ZYZZYVA, says in the recent issue of Poets & Writers, (July/Aug. 2009)"...the Twitter sensibility has no room for literate articulation. To read and write you have to enjoy being alone, quiet, static. That's not what tech fosters."

There is an inherent tension between the rapid tech advances in communicating, connecting, writing and the need for quiet, solitude, reverie. To navigate this explosion in tech, each writer must find his or her own comfort zone--how much to write in the public sphere, how much to sit alone in a room, a room of one's own (preferably) and ponder, think, and write.