Globally Connected Through Words


When I first started blogging I was kind of scared. Being from an older generation I wasn’t sure that I would be able to handle the technology part of the process. I knew the rest would be easy since I have always been in love with the written word and passionate about books and writing. I have always loved to swirl and swing words to convey my feelings and emotions. I have done so one word at a time.

I personally think that at no time in the history of writing has there been a global community of writers as today. At no time have writers come together as today. In his introduction in Paris Review interviews in 1992, William Styron wrote:

“Credit must be given to technology when owed. Certainly it is the tape recorder- despite the prejudice against it held by a few subjects- that has made the greatest difference in the technique of the PR (Paris Review) interview over the years. If nothing else, the tiny machine has allowed a copious, leisurely, unimpeded flow of dialogue to be captured for transcription. … There can be no doubt that the tape recorder has been an important factor in making these encounters livelier and more comprehensive, more densely textured and satisfying.”

I doubt if anyone from the latest generation of bloggers has actually used a tape recorder. And yet the use of current technology has allowed them (even after two decades), in Styron’s words, a “copious, leisurely, unimpeded flow of dialogue” among them, and brought them together. At no time in the history of writing has there been “livelier and more comprehensive, more densely textured and satisfying encounters” with literary friends as today.

Gone are the days when we writers sought the approval of a family member or friend before exposing our writing to the world in laying it out in the open for the rest of the world to read. Allen Ginsberg once said that writing is a public act but we writers live privately. The way to write- to write well, to reach new ground- is to break through this convention of privacy, and to talk to the reader as you talk to your friends. In Ginsberg’s words:

“We all talk among ourselves and we have common understandings, and we say anything we want to say. So then what happens if you make a distinction between what you tell your friends and what you tell your Muse? The problem is to break down that distinction: when you approach the Muse to talk as frankly as you would talk with yourself or your friends.”

Blogging has enabled us to quickly break down that distinction. It has helped us reach new ground- it has helped us talk to the reader as we talk to our friends. There’s a sincerity in the world of blogging, a frankness in the articles posted, an honest exchange of ideas among the open conversations and discussions that follow with people who share our passion for writing and who are as much in love with the written word as we are, if not even more. It’s like a general wave of creativity has swept the world and taken everyone with the same gusto along with it.

As Henry Miller wrote:
“A writer is a man who has antennae, … knows how to hook up the currents which are in the atmosphere.”

Do you agree that today’s technology has created a community of such writers which is as crucially important to blogging as the words themselves?

ChK

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14 Responses to Globally Connected Through Words

  1. livenowandzen says:

    I think it’s wonderful that so many people are writing. My mother finds the electronic age a distraction from what she terms “real” (meaning: in person) interaction. I look at it differently. We’re becoming a people of letters. Blogs are letters to ourselves and the world. They communicate our thoughts, emotions, and creativity across boundaries and borders that are disappearing. Personally, I think it is a plenty “real,” not to mention exciting, world for writers today.

    • Yannis Vatis says:

      If I had a penny… It’s that kind of thinking, in my opinion, that restrains us from allowing technology to reach its full potential. How is me exchanging ideas with you through this website any different from doing so in a coffee shop? “Real interaction” depends on each person’s definition. Some people are just not that good or comfortable with speaking to others. This tech gives us the freedom to choose how we pursue these interactions.

      • I’m an introvert and openly admit that I write because it’s how I best express myself. Some people reach others through music, some through art, some through the written word. I’m not sure that it matters how we reach out, as long as we do.

      • chichikir says:

        It’s easier to express your thoughts and exchange ideas with people of common interests. For me I have always been able to say and express my feelings through the written word more than talking. Looking forward to exchanging more ideas :)

      • chichikir says:

        I totally agree! We have the freedom to choose not only how but who to interact with. Looking forward to exchanging some more ideas in the future :)

    • chichikir says:

      Well said! We are writing letters to ourselves and at the same time being exposed to the world and the writings of fellow writers. Technology (in this case blogging-Wordpress) is allowing us to be selective in our choice of people to react with. Truly a blessing :)

  2. Samir says:

    It’s absolutely wonderful to have such technology at our disposal, to be able to share thoughts and ideas about our personal journey and our struggles as writers, to encourage and motivate one another, to learn together and to succeed together… it goes on, there are too many positives to mention.

    Perhaps the best quality is the realisation that we are all people in love with a common craft, whether the writer is a best-seller, a literary critic or an absolute beginner, the current technology demystifies the myth and secrecy of writing and allows those willing to share to be able to bond together as equals.

  3. When I first started writing, there was no internet. There was no way to connect with other writers except the local writing associations, if there were any, or check out conventions where authors were featured. Even then, it was a little intimidating talking to writers who had been writing for years or decades longer than me. For those established writers with fans all over the world, there was very little chance of ever communicating with any of them. Now, we can speak or write to other writers on the other side of the globe in almost-real time. You can find advice on how to write a novel, how to write poetry, how to write query letters, etc and you can share your work with thousands from the comfort of your living room. You’ve got to love it! :)

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