How has technology changed your writing? Modern technology has given writers the Internet and self-publishing—and allowed us to ditch the carbon paper and Wite-Out. But if you’ve read a text message written by your kids or grandkids, you may be worried about technology’s effect on writing. Read this article, “Technology changing way students view writing,” for a different take on why modern inventions may be G8 for today’s kids.
If you’ve visited Sharon Lippincott’s blog, The Heart and Craft of Life Writing, you may have read her post about September 11, “Watershed Memories.” Do you write about the defining moments of our day? Whether you are journaling, writing memoir, or composing fiction, the events we experience collectively can give important structure to our work. In my writing group, this topic expanded to include not just single momentous events, like 9/11, but also eras or long-term occurrences like the Depression, the Holocaust, and the Vietnam War. In former times, passing down stories between generations was common. Do you remember sitting on the porch and listening to older relatives talk, or attending a family reunion? Sadly, these are memories that fewer and fewer people have. Our scattered families also scatter our stories. Are you taking the time to write about the important events in your life?
How much thought do you give to you references and allusions? Do you keep your audience in mind? The annual Beloit College Mindset List gives us insight into references that younger people may not understand. Here’s an excerpt from the AP article that covered the list this year: “For most teens starting college this fall, rap music has always been mainstream, Mike Tyson has always been a felon, and wars have always unfolded on TV in real time.”
Picture courtesy of Zsuzsanna Kilián at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1204276