By day I work 60 hour weeks. At night I am a devoted father and husband to the world's greatest family. Somewhere in the non-existent time between the two, I am a writer. Join me from the beginning as I chronicle my adventures to become a successful published author.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 64 - Technology and the Writer - Writing Wisdom

First came writing on caves and pottery shards. Thousands of years later, we created the alphabet and wrote on clay tablets that would be baked. Fast forward hundreds of years again and we get parchment, complete with scrolls. Hundreds of years later, we advance our communication abilities once again with... the codex (book), first via wooden tablets with wax, then via parchment and bindings. Another 1,000+ years brings us the ever so awesome printing press, and a hundred or so years later we create movable type. Over the course of several hundred more years, the printing press evolved to become more efficient. This was followed with the first type-writers, a massive leap forward in the ability of the individual to communicate effectively. Let's also not forget the invention of the telephone.

Thousands upon thousands of years of advancement, most changes with hundreds or thousands of years in between.

Then came the internet. And email. Internet groups. Online chat. Skype. Blogs. MySpace. Texting. Twitter. Tumblr. Facebook. Google, Yahoo, etc. Podcasts and iPods and Zunes. Cell Phones ---> Smart Phones. Android and iPhones. Picasa, Flickr, and Photobucket. Grainy and jumpy video chat via expensive satellite uplink ---> internet based video chat ---> video chat on your cell phone. Kindle, Nook, iPads. audio books. eBooks. Enhanced Books. Film, TV, YouTube.

That was all in the last roughly 20 years.

We have faced an unprecedented level of communication advancements, and humorously enough, we still complain how out of touch we are if we have to drive two minutes through a cell phone dead zone.

And it just got crazier. Today I started using Google+, the new social network/communication application from Google. I was skeptical at first, because Google has failed many times with social networking, even where other items such as search, videos, online documents, and Blogger have been wildly successful. They just couldn't get it right. But this time it's right, and it's awesome. It has multi-user video chat, the awesome Circles (which is like Twitter enhanced), Sparks, and more. I am blown away, and I am not the only one. It's sweeping the internet by storm and is the fastest growing social/communication website on the web, and it's still in Beta and Invite only.

With so many changes, writers and many others must be more on top of building their personal brand than ever before. But where do we stop? How do we prioritize which methods will and will not work for us? When do we invest time and effort to taking a potential new outlet through its paces?

I believe all of these changes are awesome and certainly for the betterment of humanity. I even believe they are inspired of God in many cases. It is so easy to become overwhelmed, and instead we need to step back and ask a few fundamental questions:

What am I trying to ultimately accomplish? If I am building a brand (personal name, book series, etc), am I spending so much time promoting it that I never work on the product itself (ie, not writing). Am I letting it interfere with work and family? How does this specific communication method enable me to achieve my goal? What is my rate of return on time invested to spread my message on each individual communication method? Could there be more productive methods and returns using a different method?

And therein is wisdom for the writer. Don't forget: If you never finish writing the novel or article, 5,000 followers may never amount to more than a vain effort.

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Great blog and good insight!

I'm new to this whole blogging world and author thing, I really appreciate this.

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