Writing in a Digital Age
“Digital technology allows us a much larger scope to tell stories that were pretty much the grounds of the literary media…” – George Lucas
I was asked the question, whether writing has undergone any change in this digital age, I had to literally cease my thought; put sufficient pressure to contemplate, what changes can affect the traditional bastion of writing, age-old standard practice of putting thought to paper, it was momentarily puzzling for me and I was perplexed.
That the world has undergone a sea-change and the very paper on which we write has surreptitiously vanished under our fingers, we are living in paperless pads, virtual world on the cloud, fountain pen lost has been found kept in the education museum.
Is writing in digital age any different? It is a very legitimate question to ask; is writing in the digital age become more challenging or largely complicated or simply more convenient? In fact more pointed question has it become distorted…
Anyone, hazarding a guess or a mixed response or a clear verdict, in anyway has it changed more fundamentally from our conventions of writing, unquestionably a question which is speedily surfing in our mind space…digital has re-defined our original space to write and publish. When I am referring to writing, ‘writing’ here I mean in all its possible forms…just not the academic writing, technical or creative writing, but business writing to letter writing to screenplay writing to mail writing to instant messaging from wikis to blogs.
The traditional boundary of writing has expanded, basically has rattled the conventions, and the spread has been deep and wide; with the sweeping revolution of internet connection, and rapid evolution of social media per se. Social networking though has been the bedrock of many transformation of in our society for ages; and with the advent of digital age, the umbilical cord of social is still intact in the virtual space, in fact social media and social network is more vibrant and versatile in manifestation…as if it has got the wings to fly.
Research through Search:
In the conventional world, couple of decade back when the word “google” did not exist in this sphere, I as a writer had to rely on the physical library to check the library catalogue with little support, then to literally scan the piles of reference book, research journals, periodicals to locate nuggets of information much needed to write a good piece. Research through search is a vital pillar in the world of writing…we would have never used the number 1 followed by 100 zeros had it not been the modified “googol”, I would have been handicapped to search, perhaps other paralyzed to research even in the digital age without the power of misplaced googol. If we have to research the writing topic, the search stops at google.
Correction & Publication:
In the conventional mode, there are the guardians and they are the custodians of the printed world; the editors, the agents, the copy writers, the publishers, I have to meet their norms and if I can’t they have the gate locked which I cannot open and it is closed for lesser mortal like me, few amongst us fortuitously lucky to gatecrash and get it published…the prolonged process of getting your copy edited and published seemed ages, sometime I felt the very idea has waned its sheen when it faces the readers world…I have observed that it has just not taken few years but decade for a manuscript to get accepted and find a place in the bookshelf. In today’s digital age, these artificial castles between the writer and reader have crumbled with the path to self-publication in the virtual space. Digital tools and online experts are on the go available to edit you work and make it ready for your readers…publication is instant.
Interaction through Response:
After my publication, whether an article in a magazine or a full-fledged book, it took days and sometime months to get to know my reader’s views, their suggestions, and their feedback to be able to engage and closely interact with them. For a writer it is like a new born baby every time a book is published. In non-digital age the occasions were few and far between, I was always restless to know the response from my readers, but it was not the case to be, to get to engage and progressively interact. The valley between the writer and reader was subterranean and broad; it needed an innovative platform to bridge the yawning fissure, the innovation came and it had to come in the form of website, wikis, blogs, e-mails, instant messaging services, podcast, webcasts and today in this digital age the writer is virtually and instantly connected with the readers, an array of readers far and wide in the physical world and spread of wisdom. “Geography is now History”, otherwise this was a daunting task to connect and converse, the response in the digital age is immediate and the conversation is continuous and enables to be complete in character.
The inimitable intersection of ‘art’ and ‘technology’ have essentially changed the way writing is perceived and treated in the physical world, it is no more restricted to few selected writer and privileged publisher, it has leaped the ramparts of demarcation.
Each one of us have the inherent quest to share our unique experiences and our interesting observations, our views on philosophy and our analysis on the practical world, “art of writing” remains in its pivotal position; it is only the means to express and represent has undergone a surgically process by the invasion of internet and information technology…
The digital age has unleashed a plethora of possibilities and has empowered the writers across world connected to the digital world, in this digital age…defying the age and setting the stage for connecting and interacting, and engaging more closely than ever before in the history of time…a dawn of new age of writing!!!