The most inspiring and pragmatic advice I heard in podcast-land this week comes from the All Song’s Considered interview with singer songwriter Ryan Adams. I have pulled the specific section of that podcast out of the longer episode and linked to it above.
Ryan Adams’ thoughts on the relationship between typing and viewing your keystrokes on a bright screen got me thinking about some of the writing tools that I use unconsciously. To start with, I use a screen and a computer mouse. By far, I prefer typing to writing by hand, but when I say typing, I really mean typing on a computer, with a word processor and all its tools, with my favorite keyboard shortcuts, with a mouse, the ability to highlight text, copying and pasting, search functionality, spell checking, grammar alerts, and easy access to Google. No doubt I’m using many, many tools blindly, almost robotically.
My hunch is that I rarely pour out my thoughts freely. When I say that I write on a computer, I am saying that I mostly edit on a computer. This is something worth considering. How easily does all this helpful technology feed the more critical, second-guessing obstacles into your stream of consciousness?