The difficulty of being a writer in the digital age

A couple of days ago Chuck Wendig wrote a post about the emotional stages a writer goes through when writing a novel. It is both accurate and entertaining which is why you should go and read it right now. I’ll wait.

There is one point I do have a quibble with and it is this one.

[…] You seriously contemplate not only deleting the manuscript, but actually hitting your computer with a hammer so that no remnant of your awfulness may remain to poison the lovely world to which you should have never been born.

The problem I have with this point is this: if you’re being a good little digital citizen there’s a back-up of that awful prose (and if there’s not, why the hell not? Bad Reader! Back up early, back up often is rule zero of fight club). So you not only have to put a hammer to the computer but also to the back up storage unit. And since it’s a good bet that these days any back ups will also live in the cloud (via Dropbox or OneDrive or similar), you’ll have to destroy any and all devices connected to that account (seven in all in my case) AND the servers of the cloud storage service that you’re using. And since there are probably caches all over the place, it might be safer to just destroy the DNS servers, destroying huge swaths of the internet, at which point you might as well just burn the whole world while you’re at it.*

*Just in case it is not clear, I’m trying to be funny here. Please don’t destroy the internet. I haven’t watched all the sloth videos yet.

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