Blog Post #3

I’ve been writing for the past eleven years of my life and copyediting for the past year. When I first started writing, I used a spiral notebook to create my works and it took me weeks to finish writing a short story. After I got a laptop in eighth grade though, my productivity skyrocketed and in my opinion, my writing got considerably better after that point. I wrote my first novel in ninth grade, my second in eleventh, my third during my first year of college, and my fourth this past year. I think I owe a great deal of my improvement to the computer that I received in eighth grade, which is why I think Baron’s work “From Pixels to Pencils: The Stages of Literacy Technology”.

From a quantitative standpoint, the more words I was putting on the paper, or screen, the better I was becoming as a writer. When I was writing by hand, I was much more limited in the number of words I could write within a given timeframe. Fast-forward to eighth grade when I get my laptop. I am instantly able to increase my amount of practice. But keep going after that. I also had a mother who taught me how to type properly (or at least attempted to). Her help made me a faster typist so I was able to practice even more. Continue onward after that. I developed a very big interest in history and wanted to begin writing historical fiction. Historical fiction requires a great deal of research in order to be written properly. I had the luxury of an Internet connection so I was able to search for whatever details I needed to find. Keep going. I get to college and I have to write a paper. At this point, I’ve had a laptop for five years. On that laptop, I’ve learned how to type quickly and I’ve learned how to research efficiently. I’m able to research, write, and edit that paper within a day.

That is one of the downfalls of technologies. It has the potential to exacerbate the privilege of some groups. Rewind to before I was given my laptop. What if for the next eighth years I used spiral notebooks almost exclusively? I wouldn’t have learned how to quickly type on a computer or navigate the Internet, which is exactly the reality that a lot of kids face. The simple solution is that everybody needs access to the same technologies and the same level of training for those technologies. Obviously, the solution is going to be much more complex than that but the first step is undoubtedly to recognize those differences and resolve to actually do something about it.

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One Response to Blog Post #3

  1. Tionna Outen says:

    T.J.,

    I find it fairly impressive how you possess so much experience in writing novels during this early stage in your life. I definitely agree with you; computers have allowed humans to grow as writers or “typers.” Microsoft word has allowed me to find and fix mistakes at a faster rate rather than solely writing on paper. I do not have to search for a word in an actual dictionary. I can simply google the word for the answer. Because of Microsoft Word, I have been able to enhance my writing style (aka synonym finder and those red and green lines under words and sentences). I have to admit the right clicker on the mouse has become a close friend of mine for almost a decade. The valid points you made about becoming a better writer due to the utilization of a computer, makes me wonder if I should try to type songs instead of writing them down on paper to enhance my craft as a music artist. However, I sometimes worry if I rely too much on computers for notes, songs, etc., I may somehow end up losing all of my saved work. I always make sure to email all of my data to myself, but what if technology and the internet randomly decide to shut down? I know this question sounds far-fetched, but it is something I have always wondered. Then what is next? Thank you for the great post!

    Best,

    Tionna Outen

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