Posts Tagged ‘Electronic Writing’

Writing Spaces

April 9, 2009

The writing space that I use the most is the electronic computer. Within this space, I write using a word processor, compose e-mails, chat over instant messenger, communicate via writing through applications like Facebook and Myspace, edit films, and generally just communicate with others and myself (I consider writing to always be a communications process). Electronic writing is unique because, as Bolter speculated, it “may therefore participate in the restructuring of our whole economy of writing” (Bolter, 23). The computer is capable of an increasing amount of complex functions, with some of them being used simultaneously. Not only can I communicate with several people at once using a variety of means (video chat, instant messaging, and e-mail, for example), but I can also construct a variety of texts and engage in conversation with others around me.
Another writing space that I employ regularly each day is the simple oral tradition of storytelling. As a prideful and imaginative person who values experience above everything else, I try to relate my own travels (both physical and metaphorical) to my friends and peers. I love hearing other people’s stories, but selfishly, my favorite thing to do is tell an audience my own personal tales.
Sometimes I do not have access to a computer. For example, whenever I travel, inspiration usually bites me while I am on a train. I frantically rip into my pack and get out a notebook, and unfortunately, by the time I start composing, whatever inspired me is usually gone. However, when I do manage to get an idea down on paper, I appreciate the writing space of a notebook, and handwriting in general. Though I do not engage in it as frequently as I used to, I think that handwriting is a much more effective writing space than electronic writing when it comes to brainstorming. I can draw little diagrams, link ideas together, and have an actual piece of paper to hold. I value printed documents much more than electronic documents, and to me, any kind of draft composed on notebook paper is divine.

Bolter and Grusin define remediation as the concept of “addressing our culture’s contradictory imperatives for immediacy and hypermediality” (Bolter and Grusin, 5). Bolter continues by saying remediation is when “a newer medium takes the place of an older one, borrowing and reorganizing the characteristics of writing in the older medium and reforming its cultural space” (Bolter, 23). I believe that the computer, and electronic writing in general, is the ultimate remediator. I agree with Bolter that the computer takes the characteristics of many different writing spaces from before it and combines them together (22-23). In turn, this forces previous writing spaces to adapt in order to keep up with the computer. I believe that the computer assimilates these sometimes flailing writing spaces, such as the oral tradition. Blogs allow any amateur bard with a modem to tell stories to practically the entire world. I log into Skype on a daily basis and talk to a friend across the ocean, telling stories in a virtual face-to-face situation. In “the real world” (although the idea of the real world and virtual world are blending together at a faster rate), online jargon and shortcuts are beginning to infiltrate my vernacular. Writing spaces are blending together, and I believe there will be some cathartic explosion of genres in the near future. We are watching the fuse burn.