While attempting to declutter my office--to make room for more necessary things--I came across a box of cassette tapes of workshops given by some of my favorite authors. There was a time when I did not get in my car unless I had a cassette to listen to while driving. Times have certainly changed for me because now I get in my car for silence. The beautiful, though temporary, silence. That box of cassettes got me thinking about what else has changed for me as a writer. I began writing in the early nineties--not that long ago, I know--but I work so very differently now. See if you can relate to any of these obsolete activities.
1. I knew librarians not only at my branch but other branches, too. I often asked for help locating material for a topic I was researching. (Well, I still know my local librarian's names but they don't point me in the same direction they once did). Back then, the source for research usually started with one of the big sets of encyclopedias. Now libraries don't carry these bulky sets.
2. I typed on a typewriter that had ribbons that needed to be replaced when the ink ran dry. We were poor (which is why I had an old typewriter) so I always rewound the ribbon and gave it a second, sometimes third, life before I replaced it. Read fellow author Sheila Claydon's experience about typing her first manuscript.
3. I befriended the copy store staff. I even had an account because I made so many copies they gave me a discount. Don't forget we didn't have multifunction printers in our homes. Copies of chapters for critique groups, contest entries, and manuscripts had to be made at a copy store.
4. I befriended post office staff. In those days manuscripts had to be mailed along with an SASE (self-addressed-stamped-envelope). The post office staff always inquired on what I was writing and mailing out, and I put one or two of them in my stories.
5. Another thing I did was wait for the telephone to ring. Email wasn't invented yet so writers either got a rejection letter by mail or an offer by telephone. This hopeful writer waited by the telephone, not the mailbox.
6. I never had to think about book promotion. This is a state I miss most about the early days of my writing career. I just focused on writing. What a novel concept.
7. I had a drink. If a rejection letter did arrive I would have a cocktail such as a frothy, salt-rimmed margarita and I called a dear friend for moral support and to commiserate with. Oh, wait. I still do that.
Popular romance author Leigh Michaels shares the nostalgia of her first home office (clickhere). How about you? What has changed in your writing life since you first started writing? Share in the comments below.
Victoria M. Johnson knew by the time she was ten that she wanted to be a writer. She loves telling stories and she's happiest when creating new characters and new plots. She is also the writer and director of four short films and two micro documentaries. Avalon Books and Montlake Romance published Victoria's fiction debut, The Doctor’s Dilemma, (A 2012 Bookseller’s Best double finalist). Her other fiction book is a collection of romance short stories titled, The Substitute Bride. Visit Victoria's website at http://VictoriaMJohnson.com for inspiration and tips and find her Amazon author page at http://amzn.com/e/B0046CG6PQ or connect with her on Pinterest at: http://www.pinterest.com/ByVictoriaJ and Twitter at: http://twitter.com/ByVictoriaJ