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Simple Ways Writers Can Benefit from Technology
As a writer, everything starts with your hardware.
We’ve all been there. You see an article claiming that a device like the “Write-Bot 3000” has just come out and you absolutely have to see how amazing it is. You open up the web page, skim through half of it, reach the point where you see that it’s a whopping $1,000, chuckle to yourself, and then go back to milking your 10-year-old MacBook for everything it’s worth.
Truth be told, keeping up on the latest writing tech trends is a nice way to help add some splash and sizzle to your day. If you’re looking to benefit in a grander sense, though, sometimes you need to step back and consider the small-yet-proven ways that technology can genuinely revolutionize your writing regimen. Some of them may be old news, but you just might find a few long-ignored gems that are worth finally incorporating into your writing setup.
Here are a few of the most powerful ways that writers can benefit from technology.
As a writer, everything starts with your hardware. While there are still diehards who stick to a good ol’ pen and paper, the vast majority of the writing world has accepted the fact that tech enhances things like composition, editing, and overall productivity. Here are a few of the basic hardware items that most writers should consider in order to streamline their work:
- Laptop/Desktop: You always want to start with a solid computer. The nice thing is, writing doesn’t require demanding photo or video editing capabilities. You just need text and an internet connection. This low requirement threshold means there are plenty of extremely affordable computers that can host your writing with ease.
- Internet access: Modems, routers, and the Internet connection that they provide have become easily overlooked aspects of writing tech — even if most writers would be left floundering without it. Fortunately, fast, effective internet has never been easier to find, especially with products like the Eero Wifi Mesh system or a Google Mesh unit allowing you to set up hotspots all over your home.
- Keyboards: You could include a good mouse here, as well, but truth be told, a keyboard is more important for a writer. From clickety-clacking away on deep, clunky keys to smoothly composing on a shallow board, there are plenty of keyboard options for every style of writer.
- Audio equipment: Whether it’s a good pair of earphones or a quality set of speakers, every writer needs a dependable audio companion to deliver their music as they compose.
While writing is obviously the end goal of a writer, technology also enables them to stay connected to clients, editors, and the writing community as a whole. Here are some of the basic pieces of tech that make that possible:
- Gmail: Every writer needs a good Gmail account. It’s free, professional, and allows you to communicate with everyone in a private, unobtrusive manner.
- Video chat: When text communication isn’t enough, writers can lean on a variety of video chat tech, including Zoom, Google, and Skype.
- Social media: platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook allow writers to network remotely. However, these should be used with care. It’s important to control your personal data — any information that is related to you as an individual — by setting up separate professional and personal accounts. After all, you’ve got to keep up those work-life boundaries, right?
When the pen hits the paper — or more accurately, the fingers hit the keys — tech is right there to quietly help in a variety of different ways:
- Grammarly Web Editor: This complete editing tool helps writers compose their work from start to finish. Well organized for reviewing sentence structure, detailed notations of misused grammar, and interactive notations as to how you can improve your writing. Having a platform to work from that is compatible with all of your technological devices is essential. Editing and working your pieces into shape becomes a whole lot easier with this brilliant piece of technology.
- Google Suite: Whether you’re storing your documents in Google Drive, sharing an assignment with an editor via a live Google Doc, or tracking your work with Google Sheets, Google Suite is a free and simple way to stay organized and connected. And you can’t use it without that handy-dandy Gmail account.
Finally, it’s worth spending some time highlighting a few of the random tech gadgets that can revolutionize your writing, in particular:
- Easy recording: If you’re a writer that often interviews people, you don’t need any fancy equipment to transcribe the conversation. You can simply record audio right on your smartphone. Being able to handsfree discuss your questions while recording and then edit the conversation into a detailed article just made life a bit easier.
- Simple AI: Alright, this title is a bit of a misnomer. Artificial intelligence (AI) is hardly ever simple to the lay people who have to use it. However, AI has reached a point in its development where it does, indeed, have some very simple yet powerful uses within the writing industry. From Inkitt’s ability to connect readers with authors to using ProWritingAid to analyze writing styles, AI is quickly making an impact on the writing world.
Benefiting from the Basics
Whether you’re a full-time writer, you’re an aspiring freelancer, or you simply write in your free time, there are numerous pieces of technology to help you with the nitty-gritty. Most of these are very affordable or even straight-up free.
Nevertheless, they can revolutionize your writing overnight, freeing you up to focus on the all-important creative process — something that no piece of technology will ever be able to truly duplicate.
© Indiana Lee June 9th 2020
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