Writing 101: Technology Is a Bitch to Writing


Here’s the title of the new Clare story I just put up:

Parallel Dilemmas or Things We Have to Do to Get Out of Here


In the last post I said I was going to use all kinds of mixed media to tell this story: not so much a graphic story as a mixture of drawings, photos and, in a swell of hubris, maybe even a Vine.  The premise centered around two 16-year-old girls about to come into their own. Their emerging bodies are no longer a wonderment. Boys matter but, really, their mystery and usefulness are beginning to prove less a blessing than a distraction, at least to Clare. What they are experiencing, instead, is the first pangs of talents that may, or may not, open up vast possibilities.  In this story, nothing is sure and there’s everything to lose: they may not push enough against a world that may not feel like cooperating unless they do.

Here’s what happened: The original word draft that I embedded with a lots of images wouldn’t translate into the site where the stories are. I’m not a total idiot with technology but for the last 2 weeks this is what I’ve been struggling to do.  The site says it’s simple.  It isn’t.  That I was able to have 2 important images in the story is a miracle.

This leads me to the main point of this post: Being a writer right now is incredible–there’s so many tools to form a story out of what is always  blank white space. Digital and social media offers so much beyond words to convey meaning.  A story born in my head has the possibility to take many forms.  I’m excited by the prospect that imagines and videos and social media can expand my stories in incredible ways.  Yet this butts up against a basic truth about my personal writing life: Each day I struggle to find time to sit in a room long enough to understand what the hell I’m trying to say about the world–my own pushing against a world that by this time I know rarely feels like cooperating. I am of a certain age in which, honestly, time is dwindling away faster than the Wicked Witch doused in water–faster and faster away!

Let me put it this way: I decided to release this story in its hobbled digital form rather than the fully realized text form–which I continue to believe truly communicates the inner lives of my girls because two weeks struggling with technology is two weeks too long.  We  are moving on to the girls’ relationships with their fathers–and what a loaded subject that is!– is brewing up fast.

Clare and her friend have to rely on the fact that their destinies are in the hands of a writer who–as always–is just trying to make them as meaningful as possible.  As always, it’s a struggle, but I’ll figure it all out eventually. Maybe.



Published by

pat willard

Grew up in Philadelphia. Live in Brooklyn. Written four books best described as about memory and cultural history, food and some pretty good recipes. Works in progress may be viewed at www.patwillard.org

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s