Saturday, 26 March 2011

Past/Present, Hand Written/Typed and Good News

As always this update is some more thoughts that I have had about writing and the experiences I have had with it. Also at the end is just an update of how promotion of book one is going.
When writing I often think about all the information that has been written over thousands and thousands of year and it makes my head feel like it's going to explode.
I marvel that these writings have survived so long. So many things that have been written have been given such a long life that is far beyond that of a human. I guess it was because the words contained power to captivate people, protected and mass produced, or that they were just lucky to have survived wars and disasters where others didn’t.
This makes me think of the Great Library at
Alexandria. What a wealth of knowledge it must have contained and it was burned to the ground by a simple accident created by Julius Caesar (see good old wiki for more info). I wonder what life would have be like if we still had that wealth of information. We would have such a greater understanding of the peoples of that time and those who lived before. It is a tragedy that it was lost.
This lesson from history shows that writing is both fragile and powerful.

I love that because of writing we know so much and can learn so much. The power is in the fact that it gives us the ability to understand life, people and ourselves. Then even more than that it can give us enjoyment and make us smile or cry and reproduce the amazing array of emotions that make us human. These are a few reasons I feel words and the ability to write and read should be treasured and encouraged more.
In the present we have such a wonderful wealth of technology that allows us to store information and protect it. Imagine if the great library had been able to put all its information on a hard-drive to back it up, we would most likely still have it. Then again all it takes is to hit that delete button by mistake and it's all gone. I guess it is all part of that “power and fragility” concept. Ultimately one of the great things about technology is that it increases the safety of our work.
I am so glad that I am able to back up everything I write. I think my heart would stop if I lost the file that contained my books and I think everyone understands that feeling. I'm sure you have accidentally forgotten to save a document or your computer has crashed and you lose what you were working on. It's just such a horrible feeling. That's why I am so thankful for the wondrous age we live in and the ability to back up our work. It's great how it is so easy and how this increases the chances that what we write will survive time.
I wonder if in a thousand years someone will read something you have written. They may be working through an assignment for their history class, or for a hobby, or as research into their family history. They will see what you have written as an individual and imagine who you were as a person. They will see how we as a race used the technology we had. They will learn from it and see how we lived our lives and read what we have done all because we recorded it in writing. If that isn’t evidence for the power of writing then I don’t know what is.
Hand Written/Typed
Continuing the theme about technology I want to discuss a few things about the method of writing I have used. As mentioned in a previous blog update I typed the first book about an hour a day because of how screens hurt my eyes. With the second book I decided to hand write it as this would not hurt my eyes (hand writing book two was finished at the end of summer 2010). After this I hoped to have help from someone and for them to type it up as I read it out to them. I was helped for a while by my friend David Swanson and we worked through the first couple of chapters. I am grateful for his help but unfortunately having to travel to meet up made it difficult and on top of that book one editing and marketing took over. This left book two being put on the shelf for a while.
Recently I have had the urge to write book two onto the computer so it would be safe and ready to be printed. I wondered how it was all going to work. Typing up the hand written version was taking longer than before and it was pretty painful because of having to read the words from the pages, then type them and lastly double check it on the computer. I tried to figure out another way and didn't want to burden anyone else by asking for help.
The solution came recently when my step dad reminded me that my blackberry can hold word documents and that they can be edited. This is another reason I am so grateful for technology. I can Use my blackberry to type it out and for some reason it hurts my eyes less. Whatever the reason for this I am just so grateful because I have been writing up book two using my blackberry and use it to write this blog as well.
I think about this situation and how I would probably have always used computers to write my books if it wasn't for my limitations. I find myself being grateful that it has turned out this way because there is something organic and inherently beautiful about writing with a pen. It is nice to write the symbols that represent the words that we use to communicate with. Even though sometimes I can hardly spell them, but I am trying to improve and again technology has helped me because of spelling checks.
Because of all this I think I will hand write all my books, then type them up on my blackberry and then edit it on the laptop. It just works best that way and I get the best of both styles of writing.

Good News
The marketing of book one is moving forward slowly, but is moving forward :). I have been in touch with local newspapers and they have agreed to look over what I have done and hopefully if they write an article it will bring some badly needed publicity. Only time will tell and I will keep you posted.
Finally I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has brought a copy of the book and thank you to those who are telling people about it.

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