Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


The Times Keep Changing

I used to spend weekend afternoons at the library researching and reading. Nowadays I use the Internet, though I still take biweekly trips to the library with my son to check out books (literally and figuratively).

If I wanted to buy a rare title, I used to contact a local bookstore and have them do a search; a week or two later I would hear if they had found one and, if so, begin the process of ordering it. Nowadays I type the title into Bookfinder, order the copy I want, and a week or two later it arrives in my mailbox!

I used to write letters to my grandparents and uncle in England; about a month later I would receive their reply. Nowadays I attach a few pictures to an email, press ‘send,” and within minutes I have a reply!

I used to post flyers at bookstores and cafes seeking people to start a critique group. Nowadays my local SCBWI has a gal whose sole function is to match people to groups (via email, of course!).

I used to type stories on an old manual typewriter with sticky keys. Then, in college, I bought a fancy electric typewriter. After college I bought a bulky “word processor” that weighed about 20 pounds. A few years later, I bought a smaller version of the same word processor. About 15 years ago, I bought a Compaq Presario, an “entry level” computer. Since then I have written on various cheaper and faster versions of desktop or laptop computers.

I used to seek out books and seminars on writing. Nowadays I read websites and blogs, and even post to our own blog!

I used to package submissions in a manila envelope with a SASE, send it off, and wait a few months (or more) for a reply. Nowadays – hold on a second: that’s what I still do!


Stephanie said...

Amazing how times have changed...

Edie said...

Great commentary on the changing times! How well I remember...

Lauren said...

I enjoyed the ending-- funny how the old snail mail submissions haven't changed with the times yet-- but they will. They have to! (Actually, my editor prefers the stories to be emailed-- let paper to deal with and recycle.)

David LaRochelle said...

And some of these changes have happened so fast! It's been less than 15 years that I've had a computer, and there's no way that I could conduct business without one now.

I think you're right, Lauren; those paper submissions are changing too. With editors that I already have a relationship, I am more and more often sending them material by email.

Change can be good, but I have to admit I miss receiving old-fashioned letters delivered to the front porch. Opening my mailbox doesn't hold nearly the same excitement that it used to hold.

john said...

Mark, I enjoyed your twist at the end. I've enjoyed these changes, too. How many people really miss white out?
Let's all send David a letter so he's got something in his box.
4791 Stewart Ave.
White Bear Lake, MN 55110

Bonnie J. Doerr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bonnie J. Doerr said...

Why is it that the one painful experience for writers is the one slowest to change?

Now for some happy news. One Potato...Ten blog has won a Sunshine Award for all the reading and writing pleasure you share. You can read more about this award at http://bit.ly/9oi7Ns .


Bonnie J. Doerr said...

I'll try giving you the address for reading about the Sunshine Award again.

http://bit.ly/9oi7Ns or if that doesn't work try