Writing a book today is not like it was twenty or thirty years ago. Technology has brought us a long way. No longer are authors writing their novels out in longhand on notepads or typing them on a typewriter. Nowadays, most writers use a word-processing program on their Mac or PC.
Actually, you don’t even need a desktop computer. You can write your novel on a laptop or tablet which allow you to write not just at home but anywhere.
Having your novel in a digital format makes it easier to rewrite chapters or to edit. No longer do you have to type the whole thing over or use correction tape. You can just click your mouse and delete or add whatever you need.
In many ways, technology has helped authors.
If you have problems typing, there is voice-recognition software where you can simply dictate your novel. (Of course, there are companies that will transcribe your dictated work but to me this isn’t the same thing as being able to rewrite or change something right when you think of it versus waiting for your transcribed document to be returned.)
I even have used a voice recorder to take down ideas for my novel as I am working around the house or driving in the car.
But the biggest advancement (besides the word-processing programs would be using the Internet for research. Yes, you can still go to the library to do your research, but the Internet lets you do it quicker and from the comfort of your own home.
Simply type a few words into a search engine, and you can find huge amounts of information on pretty much any subject. So now instead of sifting through heavy books, you can spend hours reading different sites on the various topics.
This of course brings up a problem. There is a lot of misinformation out there. There is no filter for what is published here. You will have to decipher what is the truth about what is posted on the Internet.
But if you want to know how something works or view pictures of videos of a foreign location, it is quite easy to find these things on the Internet.
E-mail also is a big help with being able to converse with experts in the field quicker than sending a letter and without being as intrusive as a phone call.
The Internet through websites and social media outlets also allows readers to better connect with their readers. This allows for greater communication and feedback than ever before.
But being connected, also had its disadvantages. There are so many things that can distract you from writing – Facebook, web surfing, shopping, Twitter, Instagram, e-mail and YouTube. Each of these can be a huge drain on time.
Overall, I think technology makes an author’s life easier as long as you can stay away from those time-sucking other activities.