It is quite amusing how quickly luxuries become necessities. There are thousands of modern inventions we can’t live without, but our granny did and maybe she was more contented than we are.
I am cocksure if a gentleman from Kubbaniya culture (one of the oldest civilizations of the globe) of Egypt is resurrected today, he will either lose his mind or would beg to go back to grave as soon as he sees people riding in fast moving ‘weird machineries’, talking to someone in another country via a small ‘magical handheld device’ or flying in an ‘evil dragon like thingamabob’.
And by the way, how many days would you last if you are sent back in time to live in Kubbaniya culture? And what will you miss the most; your family, your car, your Timberland boots or your personal computer? Well, if you ask me this question, I would say ‘my Sony Notebook’ even before I think!
Let us stop imagining and come back to the real world. We can split novelties into two main categories: those which are general and everybody needs them and those which are specifically related to a particular profession. Our concerns are the inventions related to one of the most prestigious and high-status professions i. e. writing.
There are so many technologies which have earned a status as a compulsion for a modern writer that choosing only seven of them was more perplexing than choosing from different makes of cars. And as a matter of fact, the list of these necessities is getting longer day by day since the giants of the industry are competing as if there is no tomorrow.
Finally, after some cautious thinking and consulting a couple of friends… I still could not reach a decision. So I expressed my utmost gratitude to Sean Kingston and played EENIE-MEENIE-MINIE-MO to choose the top seven from the top ten techs.
You can also consider one of them as a gift for your writer-girlfriend or writer-boyfriend for the next Valentine’s Day without fearing that they might auction it off on eBay.
(If you want to learn more tips on freelance writing, marketing, blogging or growing your online business, visit the priceless blog, www.thenextgenwriter.com/blog)
1- Laptop computer
Writers should order a fast laptop computer, with plenty of storage space and the ability to back up your write-ups, as soon as you have the first wild thought of becoming a writer. I would not go into the details of benefits a laptop offers you over a desktop computer, but you can have a desktop if you are under house arrest for the rest of your life. However, you can have a desktop to complement your laptop or as a backup machine.
When buying a laptop, consider all your basic needs and choose one which offers maximum functionalities. As the notebook computer is one of your heftiest investments as a writer, it should be selected carefully.
2- Internet connection
Without an internet connection, you can only use your notebook to improve your typing speed or for playing card games unless you live next to the Library of Congress.
Internet connection opens a door to World Wide Web, where you can find amazing writing resources including free dictionaries, free books, priceless blogs like the writers blog , latest research results and the list goes on. Internet also allows you to create a website or blog and forget about all the worries of renting a building, hiring a staff, waiting for the clients – clients from all over the world will find you!
What is more? Want to learn the meaning of a slang you have heard for the very first time, browse Urban Dictionary; want to discuss the parameters for writing an eBook with your client in Malta, sign into Skype; want to check for plagiarism, open Copyscape; want to know what is another word for XYZ, jump to Merriam-Webster.
For a writer, there is nothing more off-putting than a slow internet connection – so the faster the better.
How would be our life if there is a permanent ban on internet from tomorrow onwards? Maybe something close to Kubbaniya culture!
3- Word processing software
As a writer, you have to play with words and sentences; hence, a word processing software is a godsend. Though, MS Word has become the most recognized word processing unit, yet it is one of the most expensive ones. There are several other word editors which are quite handy. Google Docs is one of the most famous ones, mainly because it is offered free of cost. WordPerfect, RagTime, EasyWord, TextMaker and Corel Write are some of the other expedient tools for writers.
Word processors offer countless startling features but I love their ‘Undo’ the most – I can simply undo it if my two-year old niece has added her ‘philosophies’ into my scrupulously researched article.
I wish I had the power to undo things in real life, most of you will agree with me on this or at least those who are married will surely do.
You can’t sit in front of you notebook 24/7 but you can’t stay away from your clients for a single minute – gizmos like smartphones provide the answer to this situation. I love old movies when the hero is in a crisis situation and is running to make a phone call, but I would never want to be in that situation, or in other words I can’t stay away from my cellphone for a minute, can you? You never know when a cranky editor calls you to make a few changes in your draft in next few hours.
Is there anything more cumbersome than jotting down quotes, interviews or even your personal brainwaves as you are on the move? I don’t think so, so better keep a digital voice recorder in your travel bag. Likewise, there are several other gadgets to fulfill your exacting needs as a writer.
5- Social media
As soon as the benefits of social media were exposed, every service provider, including writers, rushed to be the first to sign up in order to get the most of it. Open any blog or website by a writer and the only thing you will see common, besides words and sentences, is a request to “Follow me on Twitter” or “Like me on Facebook”. This is due to the fact that writers realize that for their success they have to be the most ‘social animal’ as it helps them achieve ultimate exposure and social media is the unsurpassed means for this. Experts are speculating Google+ is another dynamite in the arena of social media. I am keeping my fingers crossed until they publically launch it.
Google is my Home page; the first website I open in the morning is Google’s Webmaster Tools to see how my website is doing; I have a ritual of opening my Google AdSense account every week to see how many clicks I got; if a client asks me to write an article on a bizarre Japanese healing system, of which I have no idea, I don’t worry at all as I know Google will tell me everything I need to know; I was among the first few people in my country to create a Google+ account; Google Scholar, Google Docs and Google Books are added in my favorites and always among the most visited pages.
I believe most of other writers also love Google as much as I do. Google is much more than most of us think and it is getting better with every passing day. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that without Google I would be broke.
7- Air conditioning
This might seem a no-brainer especially if you live with penguins in Antarctica. However, in most part of the world when the sun blazes, you quickly jump to grab the remote control to your AC unit. Writing is an inventive and creative process, if you are not 100% relaxed, you can never produce a masterpiece. If you live in a fierier hemisphere, writing without air conditioners can be a tough row to hoe!
As a matter of fact, technologies come and go rather quickly. Without staying up-to-date with them, you will never reach the top and those who do will thrash you behind!