In the course of my work, I get to hear a lot of “Back in my day…” speeches. It’s not a bad thing, far from it. Most of the time it’s an idle comment attached to how the patron is a) not comfortable with all the fancy new technology that surrounds us, b) or amazed at what technology can do now, or c) convinced that technology is rotting our brains. I nod and agree with a smile but inwardly, I’m itching to sit down and discuss the subject further because I find it fascinating to look back into the  past and current day to see how different generations react to different things. (Technology, education, and the job market/economy are my favorites to compare.)

This applies to writing, in its own, odd way: Despite the advent of social media, the stereotype of a writer being a solitary person who crafts his or her work by his or her lonesome lingers. It’s been dispersed some with authors readily blogging about their writing process and sharing how the publishing industry works but it still lingers. However, I have a suspicion that within a generation or two, the stereotype will be well and truly finished.

I’m part of Generation Y AKA the Millennials. I grew up with a computer and Internet (Who else remembers using Netscape?) and adapt to new technology with ease. For me, technology is one of the biggest writing tools at my disposal.

Looking for research on this Viking weapon or that bike messenger fatality statistic? Let me dust off my Google-fu.

Do I need to sit and write? I get Twitter friends to yell at me and I write more when participating in word sprints where I write for a set amount of time and then share my word count and last sentence written.

Banging my head against the keyboard to try and make my characters cooperate? I shoot off texts or instant messages to three or four friends to see what they think and weigh their responses in the back of my mind.

I feel that last one is especially telling— Whenever I have a problem, my first reaction is to crowdsource or seek out others to help devise a solution. Between the increasing interconnectedness of the world and that tendency to reach out to others for help I think the image of the solitary writer, pounding away at his keyboard, will morph into something a little less isolated.

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