Photo compliments of Morguefile.com
As summer arrives, I walk by the fishing rods and reels in the stores, and I enjoy looking at the small boats and deep-sea fishing boats that allow fishermen to spend hours on the water, hoping to snag a big fish. From the time men cast the first line into the water, the fish have been a powerful opponent. The fishermen wait for them to bite.
Yet, technology has helped fishermen catch the fish much more easily. Global Position Systems trackers can map the details of nearly any lake in the world. Ultrasound technology reveals where the schools of fish are swimming. Fishermen can know via their tablets how many and what types of fish are beneath the boat.
So what does advances in fishing mean to writers?
If you’re a writer, you’re well acquainted the term the “Muse” and you likely know all the wonderful things she can bring to a stalled writer. This Muse lady is an ancient Greek goddess of inspiration of literature and poetry, and many idealistic writers take up their pen only when she arrives at their doorstep with a bouquet of fresh ideas. She’s also someone to blame when nothing flows onto the blank page.
But I have several ways to cast your net to snag this Muse lady, much like the today’s fishermen can find the fish.
These days, technology—from laptops to smartphones—has grabbed a hold of everyone. We send out text messages and emails when we once made long-distance calls at night when the rates were cheapest. We are bound to the Internet and the Cloud where all our information stored for just the moment when we need to access it. Just call down from heaven via a device with a network connection and get all your saved information.
These technological devices are the perfect way to capture this elusive Muse, who—some people believe—comes around once in a while and even then at awkward times.
Don’t rely on your laptop as your sole writing machine. It’s bulky, hard to carry around, and it takes a long time to turn on, which ups the likelihood of missing the Muse’s visit. Your smartphone—the one you use to constantly update Facebook and send out tweets about your life—is always standing ready. You don’t even have to crawl out of bed at night to turn on your laptop and wait for it to start up.
Use a smartphone-computer-Internet app that allows you to see your writing from wherever you are and through any device. The secret is syncing all of them instantly. No wasting time redoing what you’ve know you’ve already done once before somewhere else.
Get all your writing in the Cloud. Technologists have complicated the definition of what the Cloud is. Boiled down, the Cloud is where you store your data so you can get to it on-demand and is released with minimal management effort. Google’s Gmail is a type of Cloud. Gmail is all about sending your email from any device and reading your email from any device.
Take advantage of the ability to write and rapidly rewrite while staying organized. Technology makes editing easy. Remember the days when you’d have to scribble out entire pages of writing? These days, you can write a sentence or paragraph three different ways, one time after another, and look at all three before finalizing the one you like. That’s something more difficult to do with pen and paper.
With a technological approach to writing, the Muse may be easier catch, just like a fish.
Do you use your smart phone to write and edit?
Matthew Weigelt is a freelance writer and journalist. While in Washington, DC, he wrote about the legal world for several trade publications. He covered Congress, the White House, and other federal agencies. He also has worked as a congressional staff member on Capitol Hill. He has been published in the Washington Post and was featured in the Post too. He began writing on a dusty word processor as a young teenager because of summertime boredom. Visit MatthewWeigelt.com. He also blogs at Read Between The Pages.