Most writers would agree that our reasons for writing hasn’t changed over the years. People still write to communicate, and people still write to share and preserve knowledge and ideas. What has changed is the way our generation, with all its digital and technological innovations, has influenced writing. These are the topics that this blog explores. However, I think a good place to begin this exploration is to introduce myself, talk about my passion for the written word, and discuss what I hope this blog will mean, both to you–the reader–and to me.
It’s always hard to find a place to start when talking about oneself. I’m sure this applies to many others. How many times have we changed the way we define ourselves? At various points in my life, I’ve wanted to be just about everything, from a paleontologist to a musician. Quite a career change, I know. However, I think I’ve finally been able to come up with a definition that I know won’t change.
My name is Ariadne Abby, and I’m a writer.
I’ve always loved writing, but it wasn’t until recently that I looked at my favorite pastime as something I could potentially turn into a career. And I want to say that I owe this change to the books I’ve read. In my sophomore year of college, as I found myself constantly being rendered speechless every time someone asked me what my major was, I came to the realization that my problem wasn’t that I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, let alone what I wanted to major in. In fact, I knew very well what I wanted to major in; I just couldn’t admit it to myself for various reasons. For one thing, I was always told by my family that “there’s no money in that. Be a nurse instead!” Don’t get me wrong; I have immense respect for nurses and physicians. I can only dream of having the same grasp on science that they do. I think they’re brilliant, but like any occupation, it takes passion to be able to do your job well. But when it’s widely understood that certain occupations just aren’t as promising as others, it’s bound to sway one’s career choice. So, for a while, I looked for other majors that might be a close second to writing, that might also be more stable. Obviously, my search has proved unsuccessful, in that respect at least. It was unsuccessful because I didn’t find a close second; I didn’t even find a regular second, or a close third, whatever that means. But it was successful in that I didn’t have to find a close second; there was nothing wrong with my first choice at all. I realize I have digressed, though, so I’ll return to why the books I read changed the course of my college career.
I think it started with Boethius, who was a medieval philosopher. Most medieval philosophy works teach the same general ideas: Happiness is every human’s ultimate goal; everything they do is an attempt to attain happiness. Not just transitory happiness; true, lasting happiness. Happiness is defined by Boethius as “that which makes a man self-sufficient, strong, worthy of respect, glorious, and joyful.” Earthly goods, such as monetary or material wealth, power, reputation, or physical beauty should not be viewed as the ultimate end, or the end that leads to happiness. It should not even be a means to obtaining happiness, because these earthly goods are transitory, and they often lead a man off the path to happiness. For example, the more wealth a man has, the less self-sufficient he is, because he has to depend on external means to help keep his wealth safe. Because his wealth has become his only means to happiness, he constantly lives in fear of that money being stolen or lost.
Now, I’m not saying to just forget about money. In these times, money is quite necessary to live. What I am saying, though, is that we shouldn’t pick an occupation because it leads to money, because money won’t necessarily lead to one being happy. Although we don’t live in medieval times, the same idea that people’s actions are directed toward an attempt to finding happiness still applies. Moreover, the more you share material wealth, the less each person gets. When knowledge is shared, however, it doesn’t diminish; knowledge is the only thing that increases when shared. We all have our own niches, so it is our responsibility to share our knowledge–that’s how knowledge grows. When I read Boethius’s The Consolation of Philosophy, I learned that most of my apprehensions for declaring my major were not valid reasons to choose a different major. And now, here I am, doing what I love, loving what I do, and growing with each writing/literature class I take. Since choosing to be a writer, I’ve also learned that there is money in writing. Just probably not six figures. But that’s ok….Boethius would agree.
So, with all that out of the way, this blog will discuss many pertinent issues and topics in writing, such as how the digital age has influenced and changed writing, social media, and others. This blog will not only be informative and educational to you, the reader; I hope to learn a lot from it as well. I’d like to say I’ve remained pretty technologically and computer literate, but I think it will be a completely new experience to look at technology and digital media in light of writing. I hope that this blog will change the way people view writing. I hope that this blog will change opinions that writing is dead, that no one writes anymore, and that no one reads anymore. Writing is more alive than ever! Writing has the power to effect change, and through digital media, this has become infinitely more possible. Writing is no longer quill and parchment; it is adapting to the digital age, and digital media is revolutionizing the written word. So, thanks for taking on this digital writing journey with me, and I’ll see you next time!