I made a few small modifications to “Little Things” last week, nothing that affects the plot of the story but more in the way of attempts to refine and improve the language of the piece. I’d like to say I am done with that story, that it is frozen forever now as it will always be, but as everyone should know by now, revision is a never-ending process. And having the story online gives it a sense of elasticity that it would not possess in print.
That’s probably why online publishing is having a hard time shaking the stigma of lesser quality. No matter how many tweets the Library of Congress preserves, online content still carries that sense of impermanence.
It would be difficult to go back to the “old ways” though. I do miss the sound and sensation of the typewriter, but I don’t know if I could still use that tool, what with all the deleting and copying and cutting and pasting I do on the computer just to put one story together. This new technology has altered whatever modicum of skills I have as a writer, just as the printing press ruined our memories. It used to be within the realm of human ability to memorize and recite The Iliad or Beowulf. Now it seems we barely have the capacity to remember what we read ten minutes ago, much less the complete text of an epic poem exploring our place in the universe.