Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Understanding the Digital Divide

In times like these, I wonder how famous and infamous writers would have dealt with our increasingly fickle reading public. After all, a whole social media site is dedicated to visual communication, Tumblr, and Amazon and other digital book publishers are attempting to kill the appetite for printed books and dominate the online market. (I may be showing my age, but holding a book beats squinting to read a digital novel, even with back-lighting, any day.)

Think about how many e-mails you get from signing up for just one online writing course. And many ever-hopeful writers believe they must follow these bread crumbs no matter where they lead because they could miss the one nugget of wisdom necessary to succeed in this business. We are inundated with visual distractions and verbal floods of nonsense day after day.

Yet this online haven of possibilities also has led to my non-writing son collaborating with four Norwegian individuals to create a fan-story. (I don't care about the subject, just that he is finally discovering the writer within and  reaching out internationally to do so.) It's his second collaboration, and all it took was a passion for the subject and a new-found ability to recognize where the plot is going astray and a desire to fix it.

And I'm working with both Photoshop and Illustrator to enhance my communications with visual "aids" that can further express the way I see the worlds I create with words. It may be that each of us must filter out the distractions to do what we love and succeed.

Finally, I just want to acknowledge the influence that Ray Bradbury has had on the way I view writing. His book on writing will remain in my collection, along with a book of short stories and several novels. The author died last night at age 91.    

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