My Surprising Crutch

We all have our crutches. Mine, to my surprise, is a stonking huge desktop iMac which displays multiples pages of a single document with plenty of space left over. I do so love screen space when I’m editing.

Throughout the summer, I edited manuscripts on my perfectly acceptable Mac Air laptop. It was very useful. And portable. And light. And it held its battery for a long time and charged quite quickly. Also, it has a pretty blue cover that I chose myself. Really, I can’t complain.

Only it’s not my behemoth. Somehow my desktop permits me to drop into the zone and just lose myself. It’s a physical part of my work, solid and serious, not something I tuck under my arm and carry from chair to chair as I chase the sun's arc around the deck, or lose under the bed. My desktop computer is the vehicle that permits me to churn through miles of reading.

I’ve been known to crack the whip with interns when they hesitate to seriously read on anything that isn’t paper. They’re more comfortable with print-outs. They’ve only ever worked with a pen in one hand. They want to do the best job possible and that means first turning on the printer.

I bet you think, kind and gentle soul that I am, I sympathize. But I don’t. I'm so old that I’ve already been through too many different shifts of technology and learned to adapt with each one. During my lifetime, I've written and edited on paper then typewriter, moved to the word processor and then back to paper again when I first started working as an editor (tracked changes hadn’t yet been invented) and now to desktop publishing.

Get with the technology, I advise these kidlets. Upgrade to docx. Learn how to use tracked changes. Save in multiple formats. Ditch the crutch.


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