Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Temporary Writer - A Printers Guide

A non-writer will look back at his youth based upon memories, photographs, and videos.  A writer will look back by reading what he has written in his youth.  His words show his frame of mind and his attitude towards others.  His sentences highlight his passions, his thoughtfulness, and his arrogance.   His paragraphs define his mental condition, his maturity, and his foolishness.  It is a much harsher review of self, an introspection that can be unforgiving.

There are five-hundred million users posting their thoughts and desires on facebook. Hundreds of millions more are posting on other similar websites. These writings are mostly transitory, reflecting a moment in time but not carefully preserved for the future.  You can't put the pages into a box and store them in the attic.  Most people don't backup their computer hard-drives.  Most hard-drives eventually fail.  Meanwhile the internet pages keep scrolling down. There won't be enough historians to review all the pages of the 1.9 billion internet users currently online.

The pictures we upload may last a while longer, but eventually even those will be compromised when our favorite websites disappear from the Earth forever.  It is all wires, computer chips, ruminations in the cloud- there is no guarantee your website will be there tomorrow.  I remember when mp3.com first arrived in cyberspace.  I was one of the first hundred thousand to post music there.  It reached over 2 million users, all songwriters and musicians, before it blew a financial gasket and fell into the abyss.  Efforts by new owners to resurrect it have mostly failed. Those music pages of mine are gone, the music played out.

Even these posts on blogger may not survive as long as we expect.  We write, we post, then we prepare to write the next post.  Show me the print button on my blogger dashboard, settings, or elsewhere.  There isn't one.  If you are a writer online and you aren't printing out your words, you are risking the future of your art. It isn't enough to save it, not even to CDR or a memory stick.

The format keeps changing and your writing will get lost forever on 5/1/4 discs, 3.5 discs, CDRs, and USB memory sticks.  Print your blogs, your short stories, and your essays. Place them in a box, and toss them in your closet.   Twenty years later, when you open the box- all your writings will be there, to your amazement, for your entertainment, and possible embarrassment.

My next post will be about those old writings of mine from yesteryear.


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