New Tools, New Possibilities (with 100% more Spider-Man references!)

On Tuesday, we considered the ways that technology can be a distraction during the writing process. Of course, this isn’t always the case. In fact, there are so many ways in which technology has made writing, or at least some aspects of it, much easier than it was in the past. 

Just ask anyone who ever had to write their college or graduate school essays on a typewriter with Liquid Paper® bottle at hand!

Tools such as word processing programs allow us to write and revise in ways that would have been nearly impossible for writers in any previous era of human history to imagine. We’re empowered as writers (and researchers) as we have never been before. But as a great man once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

How will we use technology to help us understand our writing processes better? How will writing processes themselves change in the face of new tools and possibilities?

Whether we’re having fun trying to figure out who we write like, emulating the distinctive style of Ernest Hemingway, collecting paper citations with Zotero, or writing and commenting collaboratively with Google Drive and Kaizena, the range of writing possibilities on the internet continue to grow and challenge our previously held assumptions about how to write. And that’s just the browser-based stuff. Think of all the writing you do every day as you tweet and text and update your various statuses. Will these new ways of writing to each other change our thinking about writing over time?

Sure, it’s easy to be a bit trepidatious about what all of this technology might mean for the future of writing, but you don’t have to be a technophile to find plenty of reasons to be excited, too!