Writing in a Digital Age
I am a child of the ‘90s, and so writing using anything other than pen and paper has always been second nature to me. Don’t get me wrong—I have written the traditional way before, but since I have always been savvy enough with technology (and because I always press too hard when I write, leading to my wrist cramping within minutes) I haven’t ended up the proverbial Stephen King-type writer, sitting with my feet up on an oak desk, scratching away at page after page with a pen or quill.
Being a writer of a younger generation means a variety of things. One of those things is that it’s still difficult to get published. Another one of those things is that there are more ways to get published. Indeed, if you look at the current publishing landscape, it is littered with shiny new ways to get your work to the masses: blogs, e-books, websites, online self-publishers. The list goes on.
“There is no more danger in the new-age technological world of publishing than there is in the standard one.”
I myself have dabbled liberally in all of these things except e-books. When I decided at the tender age of seventeen that I would self-publish my first novel, I used an online publisher called Lulu. I have written for blogs that were not my own, and have maintained my own as well. I have written things like reviews for websites, and have contributed to online magazines. The point is, I’m fairly well versed.
Throughout all of my experiences writing on various media platforms thus far, this is the most salient thing I have taken away: they are just like books or magazines. Some are good, some aren’t. Some will take your work, some won’t. There is no more danger in the new-age technological world of publishing than there is in the standard one. In fact, there might even be a little more hope for writers based solely off of the sheer number of online options.
As always, it is up to the writer to find a suitable place for their work, and it is up to the reader to choose good art. This hasn’t changed, and will never change. Online platforms and traditional publishers are two heads stemming from the same beast. The former is neither better nor worse than the latter, and comes with its own set of difficulties.
In the end, we all seek from these various platforms what we’ve always sought: good stories. And if you look in the right places, you might just find some.