A friend mentioned this past week that I was one of the first people he had ever known who wrote on a computer. I don’t know how that happened.

I am not what you’d call an “early adopter.” I remember being excited out of my mind when I bought an IBM Selectric typewriter (Age-Spoiler Alert!) Had it been up to me, my first two books would have been written entirely by hand (which they practically were), or stitched into a sampler. Something. The physical act of writing words on paper is satisfying as nothing else could be.

Amazing how technology changes things. I can recall the almost primitive-culture-like mistrust I had at seeing my first word processing system: Where the hell did those words go when you erased them? It was a distrust that was proved when I lost six hours of un-recreatable work on my old Commodore system because I had failed to save it.

How different things are now! My daily writing routine now includes the use of a  backup drive with the dimensions of a deck of cards. And little thumb-sized jump drives–was ever a more felicitous toy invented? My toolbox includes the handheld tape recorder that comes to bed with me every night. I’m even playing with the idea of speech recognition software.

I have been jumped. And byte-en. And digitized. (If you see a sexual subtext in there, shame on you.) I’m still a little hinky about e-readers…the necessity to read within reasonable access to a power outlet doesn’t sit well with me, somehow, although instant access to a library of books greater than my own is endlessly appealing. I love the physicality of a book in the hand. The smell and feel of it. The same goes for writing. The traceries of pen on paper still feels like the poetry of speech itself. “Click click” on the keyboard, while not a requirement of the writer’s life, will never quite be the same.