Computers Don’t Make Everyone a Writer

Have you noticed how many people write these days? In the past, writers typed their manuscripts on typewriters (some manual, and later, some electric).  That ubiquitous white paint or chalky white tape corrected errors.

Writers were committed to typing error-free manuscripts, no matter how many hours it took.

Today’s writers spend less time creating their manuscripts. They sit at the keyboard and pound out words with little concern about clarity, grammar, transitions, capitalization, typos, missing letters, missing words, or even spelling.

The easier computers make it to put words in a fixed form, the more people think they can write. Unfortunately, these folks are mistaken.

I’m sure there’s no way to document that we see more bad writing today than we’ve seen in all of history, but I think it must be true.

Computers haven’t made people bad writers. People write badly because they don’t know how to write well. They think because they speak the language, writing can’t be hard.

What makes good writing? It’s writing that makes sense, says what it has to say, is easy to read, and uses the right words in the right places.

The test for determining if something is well written is easy. If what you’re reading feels tedious or hard to follow, it’s not good writing.

Good or bad, I’ll bet the writer who wrote it used a computer to bring it to you. And so I make my point: computers don’t make everyone a writer.

Happy writing!


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