Monday, September 15, 2008

My Technologies.

Writing technologies I use on a regular basis:
--Computer Word processing, specifically MS Word
--Pen and paper
--Pencil and paper

All three have very distinct applications, and are not necessarily interchangeable.
I use Word almost exclusively for writing essays for school, and I compose directly in the program, for ease, speed and other reason that sound like they belong in an appliance ad. Pen and paper has two sets of uses for me. First, I use it for noting, both formally in class in informally, i.e. grocery lists. Second, I use pen and paper for personal writing of prose, poetry and venting genres. Though it is on the whole the same technology, I prefer specific materials for doing each-- for class I use a medium point ball point pen and college ruled paper. I find both wide rule and flowing ink pens terrible for note taking. for list making and other more casual notes, I prefer light weight paper, unlined-- I love those 99¢ glue-bound scratch pads that inevitably fall apart. When writing for myself, I use flowing ink pens and much prefer a heavier weight paper; I generally write in sketchbooks designed to hold charcoal and ink. Pencil is reserved for instances where I know I will erase; math, particularly, but also occasionally for in-class essays and nearly always for drawing. I tend to dislike it for other uses because eventually it will smear.
My preferred technologies haven't so much changed over time as they have grown more specific. I think it's fair to say that I have always done most of my writing in pen and pencil (with the occasion crayon, marker, and stick of sidewalk chalk thrown in for good measure) and have just developed the the nerdiness and and love of words on the page to have conscious and exact preferences regarding materials.
It would seem that word processing is the intended catch here. I would imagine that between five and ten years ago, people of my age would have had much to say about how the word processor has changed their life. However, I have more or less grown up with the darn thing. Moreover, I did indeed use it as a kid, not just for school but also for my childhood nerd-ling endeavors such as making a "neighborhood newsletter" that I proudly distributed to all six houses on the country road I grew up on.

1 comment:

Steve said...

That all makes sense to me, Alison. I think it's interesting that you pick word processing for different kinds of writing though. And have you ever played around with any other word processors besides MS Word?