Thursday, November 21, 2013

My Love/Hate Relationship With Technology

As I’ve been sitting here going through the delightful tutorial for Scrivener, (delightful because they keep telling me to take a break for tea), I find myself reflecting on a journey I’ve been on since I decided to finally begin writing. No, not the actual writing journey, with the craft learning curve, and the submitting learning curve, and the editing learning curve, et al, but a closely linked journey. My TECHNOLOGY JOURNEY. The journey that had me so frustrated at one point last week that I tweeted about my love/hate relationship with technology.

When I started writing in earnest, putting fingertips to keyboard, I was blissfully ignorant of all the technology I was going to have to learn to use. Lots. Of. Technology. Even as I type those words I can hear several people I know laughing loudly, with the loudest laugh coming from all the way across the country—my friend and I.T. savior. I’m not exactly a technology savant, to put it nicely. But when I decided to have a second career as a writer, I had to get smart—okay, not smart, but at least capable—fast.

Over the past two years I’ve had to learn to: set up a blog and keep it going, Tweet and exist in the Twittersphere, do my edits using Track Changes, move from the old PC to a MacBook, and figure out innumerable little fiddly problems with MS Word. This short list is just a sampling. The list could go on and on. Now I’m facing getting a true website/landing page set up, and because I guess I needed a new challenge I’m also learning how to use Scrivener.

So it came as a nice surprise when I recently met a writer who proclaimed she ‘hates technology.’ I quickly came to understand that she hates it enough that she does her first draft writing in longhand, rarely emails, and has a true aversion to social media. Love her!! But here’s the kicker: she’s young enough, that unlike me, she grew up with technology.

I’ve been assuming all along that everyone under the age of thirty-five is born with a tech gene, or a chip embedded in their brain, and that it all came naturally. I’m sure it does come naturally to this writer, but for whatever reason she has more or less turned her back on technology—for now. I say ‘for now’ because she will soon find out that she has almost no choice but to build that platform, a platform designed and constructed in the ether.

I’m sure I’ll continue to bitch and complain and wail about my love/hate relationship with technology. But the truth is, I cannot imagine doing this job without it. Literally having the world at my fingertips and the ability to manipulate written words with ease are things I could never give up at this point. I’m too spoiled. And aren’t we all? 

Happy Writing--Be it on a computer, pad of lined paper, papyrus, or stone tablet.


  1. You've joined the legions of writers who have that love/hate relationship with technology. On those days when I want to throw my computer out the window I don't? Why, because I've learned to stop before I reach that place any more. Amazing what a walk around the block, a cup of tea, a half-hour of something on HGTV will do for my equilibrium - on and also chanting, "I can do this. I am an intelligent person. I can do this" helps while I'm on that break. Fun post, Monica!

  2. Thank you Judith for sharing your encouraging thoughts on that ever-challenging relationship with technology. I love your mantra, because I use one very similar to it, myself. Also, I figure it has to be keeping my brain sharp, as I tackle each new tech challenge, right?

    I always enjoy your comments, Judith. Thank you!

  3. I am not exactly a big fan of technology, although I have invested 35 years in the "technology" business. I still love a classic wristwatch, a car I can work on myself, and the hand-me-down PC I use occasionally. I cringe at the idea of replacing the VCR/DVD player, but I love my iPod. I think the lack of simple, intuitive "Jobs-like" design is often what is missing in new technology. I use digital cameras, but love the look, feel and sound of my old Nikon F2 from 1976.

    But most of all, I love disconnecting from the tyranny of email, the urgency of the work schedule, and enjoying a pleasant weekend with Ms. Knightley and friends, especially!


  4. Technology is that lurking beast hovering over my shoulder laughing hysterically when I accidentally delete something important or have to figure out how the heck I ended up with multiple documents of the same thing. Whenever I get smug and think I have figured it out I get a reminder I am not. But, by the same token, I can type words into my computer as fast as I can think, cut and paste bits that belong elsewhere and have a lovely document when finished. If I remember to save, save, save :-) Yes, it is a love/hate relationship, but that is half the fun, isn't it?

  5. YES, THIS: Whenever I get smug and think I have figured it out I get a reminder I am not.
    I'm sitting here laughing about this comment, because it is so very true. Technology has a very strange sense of humor.

    Kylie, I too save, save, save, so when two hours of work--with constant saving--went missing last week I started having the meltdown that resulted in this post. Finally figured out what happened, but it was still gone. I'm just hoping the recreation I did the next day is as good as the original.

    Thank you for the delightful comment--you always make me smile Kylie!