Sunday, September 26, 2010

Musings On...Paper

...And by that I mean, musings about paper.  Because as you know, this ain't paper. Far from it. Paper, in the sense of blogging, has become merely a metaphor for writing stuff down.

What has me musing on paper is that last week, I broke down and bought a Kindle. It hasn't arrived yet. And I'm really looking forward to having it, reading on it, NOT carrying around 800-page hardcover tomes ever again.  Or at least, not if I can possibly help it.

I have resisted buying an e-reader for...oh, as long as there have been e-readers. I was waiting. For the ultimate do-everything device. For the price to come down.  For...I don't know, exactly. To be sure that e-readers were here to stay, I guess.

I'm not waiting anymore.  Because I truly do believe that e-readers are here to stay.  And that got me thinking about way back years and years ago when I bought my first computer.  It was a DOS computer.  If there was Internet then, I sure hadn't heard of it.

It was a big step for me, to leave my IBM Selectric behind.  I thought it would be so difficult.  But you know what?  It was beyond easy.  And it made my writing life so much smoother.  So much less about Wite-out and carbon copies and having two weeks to type up a clean copy of my completed manuscript once I was through with the first, second, third--and beyond--drafts.

Many other authors I know do a lot of editing on paper.  Not me.  From that first computer, I never print it out until it's ready to slip down the chute to New York--and the last few years, I don't print it out at all.  I email it in attachment.  Slowly, the paper phases of the editing process are disappearing.  The work goes back and forth between me and my publisher mostly electronically.

And it's great.  Since novels are not about the medium but about the content, I look forward to the day when there will be no paper involved in this process at all.  I used to find it scary--books without paper.

But more and more, I find it exciting.  Good.  Right.

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